About the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN)

What is the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN)?

As outlined in the British Film Institute’s plan for 2012-2017, Film Forever’s ambition is to encourage people to build a lifelong relationship with film, to help build audiences for a broader range of films across all platforms and ensure that film culture can be accessed and enjoyed by everyone across the UK. The BFI Film Audience Network (BFI FAN) is at the heart of this; it is a network coalition of organisations across the UK that work together to extend film choice, increase and broaden film audiences, and enhance opportunities for audiences to engage with and learn about film


What is the Film Hub?

Film Hub North West Central is part of BFI FAN. The network is made up of nine Film Hubs across the UK with each Hub being led by a Film Hub Lead Organisation (FHLO) that receives funding to deliver programming, audience development and support sector training in their region.

The Film Hubs work collaboratively with partner organisations in their local areas and, together with the BFI, have formed a new Film Audience Network strategic leadership group to ensure a joined-up UK wide approach.

What are the Hub regions?

The Network consists of nine regional Hubs in the following areas: Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, London, the South East, the South West & West Midlands, Central and East, North West Central and the Greater North.

What is meant by 'specialised film'?

The BFI’s definition of ‘specialised film’ relates to those films that do not sit easily within a mainstream and highly commercial genre. The BFI believes in the diversity of film and of audiences. We want films to find their audiences and audiences to build their appreciation of a wide range of films. A wider knowledge of film gives us a wider knowledge of different cultures and ideas. We believe that the on-going development of film culture relies on both familiarity with the great titles of film history, and on experimentation with new ideas and forms.

Foreign language films with subtitles: In almost all circumstances foreign-language films will be classified as ‘specialised’ due to most audiences’ lack of familiarity with and resistance to subtitles.

Documentaries: In almost all circumstances feature-length documentaries intended for theatrical distribution will be classified as ‘specialised’ because non-fiction cinema tends to have a narrower appeal than fiction.

Archive / Classic films: Films from the beginning of cinema’s history until the last 10-20 years, older titles shown again on the big screen so that today’s audiences can experience important or overlooked titles in their original format.

Artists Film / Experimenta: Feature-length films or programmes of shorts that express an artistic vision or particularly experiment with the film form for aesthetic purposes.

Short Film Programmes: Short films give new film makers a chance to learn their craft, find their cinematic voice and to see how audiences respond to their work.  Classic short films can give audiences the chance to see the first films by now famous filmmakers, and students of filmmaking the chance to see the format at its best. For these reasons, feature-length (70 mins+) programmes of short films will be considered.

Other Criteria: Films that fall outside of the above parameters may also be considered on the basis of unusual or undefinable genres; complex and challenging subject matter; innovative or unconventional storytelling/narrative structure. Films with stories and subjects relating to diversity (for example Black, Asian and minority ethnic people; disability; LGBT) may also be classified as ‘specialised’.

British film: ‘British’ films are those that are in receipt of a ‘Certificate of a British Film’ under the terms of Schedule 1 of the Films Act 1985 as amended i.e. films that pass the UK’s Cultural Test. ‘British’ films do not include films certified as British under any of the UK’s co-production treaties or under the European Convention on Cinematographic Co-Production for the purposes of eligibility for this funding.

About Film Hub North West Central (Film Hub NWC)

What is the Film Hub NWC?

Film Hub NWC is a network of organisations that share a commitment to enhancing the opportunities for people to engage with specialised film and British cinema and to develop the cinema sector across the regions and beyond.

What area does the Film Hub NWC cover?

Film Hub NWC covers Cheshire, Derbyshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside, Shropshire & Staffordshire.

Who is the Film Hub Lead Organisation (FHLO) for the North West Central Region?

Greater Manchester Arts Centre – GMAC Ltd, which trades under the name of HOME are delighted to be the FHLO for the North West Central Region.

What are the FHLO responsibilities?

  • Be the catalyst for, and support, dynamic and sustainable collaborations that can add value to the members and deliver more breadth, depth and reach of film choice for audiences across the region.
  • Ensure that existing members value their participation and new members can access the Hub
  • Lobby on behalf of the Hub and its members
  • Develop and implement strands of activity that enable the Hub to nurture interest and involvement in film at all levels for a wide range of participants.
  • Brokerage across the national and regional network; making introductions, collaborations and lead
on project applications to other UK Audience Network scheme funds such as the BFI’s Programme Development Fund.
  • Ensure that Hub activities and events are well delivered, documented and attended
  • Maintain productive working relationships with key public sector agencies, funders and industry
  • Ensure that the strategic Hub Activity Plan is delivered on time and within budget.

What are the aims and vision of Film Hub NWC?

As the FHLO, HOME will build a network of members with a shared ambition to extend film choice, increase and broaden film audiences, and enhance opportunities for audiences to engage with and learn about film.

The Film Hub will function within the core strategic objectives outlined within the BFI’s Film Forever plan. These core objectives are:

Reach – To increase and broaden audiences for specialised and British independent film

Breadth – To considerably extend film choice for audiences across the UK

Depth – To enhance opportunities for audiences to engage with and learn about film

How much money has the Film Hub NWC been awarded?

Film Hub NWC has been awarded £1.1 million over a period of 4 years 2013- 2017 subject to annual reviews.

How is this funding being used to achieve the overall aims of Film Hub NWC?

Film Hub NWC funds are used for:

  • Programme development activities across the region with the overall aim to increase audiences
  • Training and sector development initiatives
  • A Bursary Scheme to allow members to attend festivals, conferences or events that will be of benefit to the member and the wider Hub.
  • An open call for small grant funding aimed at projects focussed on audience development
  • Networking and Hub events

Who will decide how the funds are spent?

Film Hub NWC have a Steering Group, chosen to represent the diversity of the region and exhibition organisations in the North West Central region.

The group represents the interests of the region’s Hub members, make decisions on future strategy (in consultation with the Film Hub NWC Management Team) and be an advocate for the Film Audience Network.

Hub Membership

What are the benefits of becoming a Hub Member?

Hub Membership provides organisations with access to grants, bursaries, training and networking.

It encourages collaborative programming and audience development projects, providse access to regional and UK wide initiatives and allows organisations the opportunity to draw upon the experience of Hub members.

To be able to access the Film Hub NWC activities and grants you will need to be a Hub Member.

Who can become a Hub Member?

Hub Membership is made up of organisations who demonstrate a commitment to enhancing opportunities for existing and new audiences to engage with and learn about specialised and independent British film.

Members include cinemas, cross-art venues, festivals, touring schemes, societies and film archives. We also welcome organisations that do not yet have a track record in reaching audiences for film but who share the Hub’s ambitions.

Members need to be a properly constituted organisation such as

  • Community Interest Company registered at Companies House Charity or trust registered with the Charity Commission
  • Local authority or statutory body
  • Limited liability company registered at Companies House

How much does Membership cost?

Membership is free. All that is required is to demonstrate a commitment to Film Hub NWC overall vision.

How do I become a Member?

To become a member you will need to complete an Application Form which can be downloaded on our Members Page.

An initial eligibility check will be carried out based on the criteria described above.

Eligible organisations will then be invited to sign the Film Hub NWC terms and conditions, which includes a short activity and diversity form.

Can I be a member in more than one Film Hub?

Yes, if your organisation has activities and audiences in more than one Hub region you are able to approach each relevant Hub for membership. Please note that each Film Hub has different mechanisms and definitions for members so you would need to contact each directly.

How do I contact Film Hub NWC?

You can contact Sally Folkard (Film Hub NWC Development Manager) on: sally.folkard@homemcr.org / 0161 212 3452

and Alison Kennedy (Film Hub NWC Coordinator) on: alison.kennedy@homemcr.org / 0161 212 3458

If you have a general enquiry or are unsure who to contact email: filmhubnwc@homemcr.org


How do I contact the other Film Hubs across the UK?

For more information on each Hub including the areas covered:

Not found what you're looking for?

Contact Us