News & Events

Posted: Mon, 25 Apr 2016 17:13

Sophia Ramcharan on the NFTS Black Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) Leadership Programme

Sophia Ramcharan

Audience Development, Diversity and Engagement Co-ordinator - Broadway

Film Programmer and Producer

As one of the six-participants on the National Film and Television School's first Black Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) Leadership Programme, I'll undertake an intensive six-month programme of individual training, coaching and mentoring, allowing me to rapidly develop my career confidence in today's industry, with the ultimate aim of developing my leadership skills.

The BAME Leadership programme is a new programme to rigorously encourage diverse representation in the film industry, bringing on the next generation of diverse talent working at executive level in production, distribution, sales and exhibition. Supported by Creative Skillset, the scheme is aimed at emerging film business executives from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic backgrounds with a proven track record and the potential to lead in their industry to take part.

The programme kicked off with a 2-day immersive boot camp for the group as a whole with sessions focussing on building and honing leadership skills. The boot camp consisted of a packed schedule of guest speakers from across the film industry, including Ben Roberts and Ben Luxford (both from the BFI), Duncan Kenworthy (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill) and Finola Dwyer (Brooklyn). The venue was the Über modern Ingenious Media offices; very inspiring!

As a group we gained a wide ranging insight into the financing, sale, business affairs, marketing, domestic and international marketing/distribution of film, including up-to-date analysis of current market and financing conditions, and the practical and negotiation skills required to facilitate a project's success.

Participants were then matched with a mentor (a senior executive) for the duration of the initiative, and allocated sessions with a career coach. I am absolutely delighted that my mentor is Duncan Clark, President of Distribution at Universal Pictures International.

Why the need for a Leadership Course to target specifically BAME communities?

Targeted support of under-represented groups to encourage leadership is an essential strategy to address the current imbalance of diversity representation and equality of opportunity, particularly in arenas of strategic-decision making, such as commissioning and production. In a recent article the BFI stated:

"…picture of inequality among the workforce is bleak when looking at senior positions …fewer people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds (BAME), women and people with disabilities are employed in senior positions. What's harder to quantify is the effect that peoples' background plays in how successful they are in film, but anecdotal observations suggest that class is a strong factor affecting people's engagement with film and progression within the film industry".

Not very encouraging, I'm sure that you'll agree.

What is positive is that the industry does recognise that diversity is good for business. Variety magazine highlighted the "wildly inaccurate" figures when predicting the opening-weekend results of films with diverse leading cast, citing "Straight Outta Compton's $60.2 million debut was roughly $20 million more than most trade publications had predicted". Diversity means choice, and from my experience in films exhibition, I do know that audiences are thirsty to see fresh ideas and new cultural perspectives.

The BFI also support this view stating that "Diversity is not only good for creativity, it's also good for jobs. It supports economic growth, it taps into what audiences want to see and it makes good business sense".[ii]

I genuinely believe that the film industry is a fantastic place to work and I don't believe that "gatekeepers to power" are particularly racist or prejudice, however as part of this discussion, we should consider the phenomenon of unconscious bias, defined by the Equalities Challenge Unit as:

"Implicit or unconscious bias happens by our brains making incredibly quick judgments and assessments of people and situations without us realising. Our biases are influenced by our background, cultural environment and personal experiences. We may not even be aware of these views and opinions, or be aware of their full impact and implications."[iii]

Social-economic factors and class are also important considerations when looking at access to opportunities and career development, in an industry where professional industry networks and contacts are critical to progression.

I'm not a supporter of nepotism, for me finessing the craft of the business is paramount. I'm an experienced film producer and programmer and it's important for me to be considered for my skills and abilities. As a black woman I'm not asking for special treatment, simply equal access to opportunities.

So, more to share with you in my next blog post, I'm looking forward to the journey ahead.

Sophia Ramcharan is based at the Broadway Cinema as the Audience Development, Diversity and Engagement Co-ordinator.

To read the BFI report in full see:



Posted: Fri, 01 Apr 2016 14:29

Open Calls Spring 16 Launch

The Spring 16 call has now closed, thanks for those who got in touch.

We are delighted to open Film Hub Central East's Spring 16 call for Expressions of Interest.

FHCE has supported over sixty projects born from our EOI process, and it has proven to be a fantastic opportunity for venues in the Central East region to expand their programmes and engage with new audiences.

Examples of supported can be found on our projects page

As 2016-17 is the final year of the current BFI Film Audience Network programme, we wish to see an emphasis on legacy and securing the longer-term sustainability of specialised film in the FHCE region.

Full guidelines can be found on our website, and as ever we are always on call to answer any queries you may have.

Read the guidelines and more at

The deadline for Expressions of Interest is Friday 22nd April at 5pm

Programme Progression Scheme Opens

We created the Programme Progression Scheme to support film societies, clubs, and community cinemas in our first EOI call in Spring 2014. We received large interest from societies who felt they could expand their programming, but needed help to do so.

We've now separated this fund from our EOI round, and opened with a rolling call - so you can propose projects at anytime year-round, open until funds are exhausted.

A grant of up to £1,500 for groups who wish to diversify their programme or create new activity where audiences are not being served.

Read the guidelines and more at

Posted: Thu, 24 Mar 2016 16:07

Film Hub Central East is recruiting

Location: Choice of venue across UK, depending on applicant preference with travel across the UK a requirement

Reports to: Film Hub Manager, Film Hub Central East/ Manager of FHLO where applicant is based

​​​​​​​ YPN Coordinator - Job Description (PDF Document, 0.3 Mb)​​​​​​​

Fee: £12,000

The BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) is offering a unique opportunity for a a project manager to oversee the the pilot phase of the creation of a UK-wide FAN young programmers network. Recognising the fantastic work done by venues and young programmers across the UK, FAN seeks to amplify and enhance this activity with the creation of a Young Programmers Network, giving both Young Programmers industry opportunities and peer to peer support, and audiences the chance broaden their film choice.

We are looking for an enthusiastic individual to coordinate the creation of this Network with FAN as well as evaluate this pilot stage.


Posted: Tue, 16 Feb 2016 15:41

Sundance Film Festival 2016 Blog Post

Melissa Gueneau, Press and Marketing Coordinator at Broadway Cinema

As a film-lover, Sundance Film Festival has always been on my bucket list of things to experience. For the past 30 years, the festival has been home to some of the most exciting and bold independent filmmaking, as well as a hub for up-and-coming talents. Jim Jarmusch, Quentin Tarantino and Paul Thomas Anderson all got their big break at Sundance. But if the idea of discovering the next Steven Soderbergh before everyone else, spending 10 days in a gorgeous snowy mountain town, and the odds of bumping into Robert Redford wearing a woolly hat all sound dreamy, heading to Sundance can be a rather expensive affair. Flights, accommodation, accreditations, food, winter gear – all of it adds up pretty quickly, to the point where it becomes more of an investment than a wintery cinematic outing.

There are ways, however, to keep the costs down and still have a brilliant experience. One of them is by becoming a volunteer. This year, Sundance recruited over 2,300 volunteers covering all aspects of the festival, from snow shovelling, to ushering and ticketing, to running venues, to looking after industry members. To put it simply, the festival would not run without them. As part of my role at Broadway, I oversee some of the coordination for Mayhem Film Festival and volunteering at Sundance meant my trip could also be a learning experience – and what better place to learn than at one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world.

The application process for Sundance's volunteering programme opens in August. You need to fill in an online form, not dissimilar to a job application. The volunteer team then gets in touch in November to set up a phone interview, after which you eventually find out whether or not they have been able to find a role for you. The whole process is usually complete by the end of November. If the timeline does seem a little tight for a trip in January, it is still entirely feasible, and if you are planning a trip anyway, you can still book flights and accommodation ahead of time. Where volunteering will save you money, is when it comes to film tickets. Depending on how many hours of your time you give to the festival, you will be rewarded with a full accreditation or volunteer tickets.

Sundance is very grateful to its volunteers and there are other perks for those willing to give it a go. In addition to access to screenings, volunteers each receive a branded jacket designed specifically for them, a full festival catalogue, access to the staff and volunteer party, special advance screenings exclusive to volunteers with filmmakers often in attendance, and a fair amount of free snacks throughout the festival. There is also Volunteer Appreciation Day during which the festival celebrates its volunteers with volunteer-focused short films in front of every screening and a party for volunteers only. Volunteers are helmed as "the real stars of Sundance", and if the tagline sounds cheesy, it does really reflect the perception from festival staff.

But what do you learn from volunteering at Sundance? Well, you learn a lot. Training is tailored to each role individually, but you will generally be given a sense of what Sundance stands for with an emphasis on the fact that you are now part of the family and that for the 10 days of the festival, you are the face of the festival. Ahead of your trip, your inbox will fill with volunteer expectations documents and information about the department you are joining. Most of it will sound like common sense, but there is a reason the information is sent to you, and it isn't in any way for patronising purposes. There is no culture of presumption at Sundance. The festival will never presume that you know how to do something, unless you have specifically told them you do. Everyone receives the same starter's guide, so the rules and expectations are the same for everybody.

And it really is in your best interest to give it your all. Everything you learn from your experience, you can pretty much bring back with you and apply to your day job – customer service, how to show initiative, team building, management skills, communication, not to mention anything specific to the role you are in. The more you give to your role, the more you learn, the more you experience the festival, the more you learn. And so does the festival. Feedback is warmly welcome and any mishap, mistake or bump on the road is immediately acted upon, possibly making it one of the best run festivals out there.

I haven't even mentioned the best part of volunteering yet – the people you'll meet. There are so many volunteers at Sundance that the diversity of backgrounds is impressive. Some people work in the industry, others just love cinema. It isn't hard to imagine that in a few years time, some of the people you met volunteering might return to the festival as guests. The story goes that David O. Russell used to be a driver for the festival. It's not just the other volunteers however, the whole film industry is there, and networking has never been so easy. Forget everything your parents ever taught you and speak to every single stranger you meet. You'll come back with a full address book and a few friends too.

You can probably learn a lot from Sundance by simply attending as a regular patron, but it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of the festival and trying to watch as many films as is humanly possible. Volunteering gives you a chance to see how it works from the inside and that type of experience is absolutely invaluable. And there is still plenty of time to enjoy a few parties and watch tons of great movies. Speaking of which, watch out for Tickled, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, The Birth of a Nation and Life, Animated.

But there must be some downsides? Well, temperatures will drop to -11C, your nose will start bleeding for no apparent reason, you will be woken up by the avalanche cannons, you will be out of breath every time to try to do anything remotely physical, there is a 95% probability you will return from your trip ill and exhausted, and you will be the only person of the festival not to have had your picture taken with Elijah Wood (or whatever actor seems to be going around at the time of your trip). What I'm trying to say is: Sundance is a winter festival. Not a British winter kind of thing, a real full-on winter weather festival. If winter and snow isn't your thing, but you still like the sound of volunteering, there are other A-list festivals with volunteering opportunities like SxSW in Austin, and TIFF in Toronto – both of which are much warmer and both of which will probably have Elijah Wood DJing somewhere.


Posted: Fri, 12 Feb 2016 17:23

Film Hub Members Meeting

Tuesday 15 March, 10:30am

Broadway Cinema, Nottingham, NG1 3AL

Registration is now open for our next hub meeting at Broadway in Nottingham.

We will be announcing the details of our upcoming open calls for funding across 2016 / 2017, talking about the cultural year ahead, with a chance to catch up with other members of the hub.

We're starting the day with a special preview screening of OUR LITTLE SISTER at 10:30am, with a networking lunch at 1:30pm.

You can RSVP now by emailing Andy at

Posted: Sat, 16 Jan 2016 12:17

New Release Strategy

The BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) has just launched a new scheme to support some of the best new films from across the globe. This exciting new initiative aims to work with distributors and cinemas/exhibitors to find the right audience for these films.

The first two films to receive FAN support have been announced:

  • The Pearl Button, Patricio Guzmán's Berlin Film Festival Silver Bear winner, (New Wave, 18 March release).
  • Mustang, Deniz Gamze Ergüven's Oscar and Golden Globe nominee (Best Foreign Language Film) (Curzon Artificial Eye, 13 May release).

Every film is different so what's on offer for each one will vary, from events with film talent to Facebook advertising campaigns to educational resources – entirely free of charge for exhibitors.

So, in general, what can Film Hub members and exhibitors expect from a FAN supported film?

  • A bigger marketing and press campaign, raising visibility and targeting specific audiences in every region of the UK.
  • Access to regional preview screenings.
  • A comprehensive marketing pack created by exhibitors for exhibitors, with top-quality, tailored content to take the hard work out of reaching your audiences. It will include: web and social media assets; press templates; key national and regional partners and networks to tap into.
  • Interesting and alternative shareable content for each of the titles.

Read the article in Screen Daily