Supporting New Film Releases

Since summer 2018, BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) has been supporting four new release films each year to help exhibitors across the UK engage with more diverse audiences and programme more titles that might be perceived as being ‘risky’ or ‘too challenging’. Anyone can submit a film for consideration and we particularly welcome submissions from film distributors and exhibitors.

BFI FAN has previously supported a diverse line-up of films including: Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters, the coming-of-age LGBT story We The Animals, Korean drama Burning from director Lee Chang-dong and political activism documentary Hail Satan? 

We are also working closely with FAN Young Consultants who have worked with distributors to create bespoke marketing packs for venues looking to attract 18-25 year old audience members.

Visit FAN Young Audiences for more information.

For information on how FAN can support your screening, please contact Timon Singh, Campaigns Manager, Film Hub South West at ti.s@watershed.co.uk 

To find out the latest titles to receive FAN support, sign up to your local Film Hub in order to receive the Booking Now email.

2021 releases

Bad Luck Banging Or Loony Porn

Dir. Radu Jude | Cert 18  | 106 mins | Romania | 2021

Booking: chee@sovereignfilms.co.uk

Release date: 26 November 2021

Emi, a school teacher, finds her career and reputation under threat after a personal sex tape is leaked on the Internet. Forced to meet the parents demanding her dismissal, Emi refuses to surrender to their pressure. Radu Jude (Aferim!) delivers an incendiary mix of unconventional form, irreverent humor and scathing commentary on hypocrisy and prejudice in our societies.

The title contains strong real sex, nudity, sexually abusive behaviour, very strong language.


BFI FAN members that screen Bad Luck Banging can expect and request:

  • Audio descriptive and captioned versions of the film
  • Marketing pack and assets including programme notes
  • Pre-recorded 20 min director Q&A available for exhibitors
  • Freelance marketing support in every Film Hub area
  • Advice from Inclusive Cinema for exhibitors putting on accessible screenings
  • Support from BFI FAN’s Young Consultants
  • Budget for Facebook/social media ads

Balloon

Dir. Pema Tseden | Cert 12A  | 102 mins | China | 2019

Booking: duncan@day-for-night.org

Release date: 24 September 2021

Tibet, 1980s: Dargye and Drolkar’s two boisterous youngest sons have blown up their parents’ condoms like balloons. Not only does this outrage their entire village, but more practically: they have no more condoms. The shepherd couple already have three sons, and as China has recently introduced its one-child policy, they can’t have any more. 

Once China’s one-child policy was relaxed in 2015 – now permitting two children per family – space opened up for films examining the often profoundly traumatic consequences of this measure. Tseden takes a drily comic approach to the subject here, captured in deceptively simple handheld footage full of implicit symbolism. In his world, there is no chasm between modernity and tradition; rather, the two gently rub against each other. 

With its cool colour palette, attentive handheld camerawork, and painterly passages that seem to transpire somewhere between this world and the next, Balloon approaches weighty themes with beguiling brio and a sense of wonder.

BFI FAN members that screen Balloon can expect and request:

Limbo


Dir: Ben Sharrock | Cert 12A  | 103 mins | UK | 2020

Booking: Natalie Ralph <nralph@mubi.com>

Release date: 30 July 2021

Ben Sharrock’s critically adored deadpan comedy-drama Limbo is a wry, funny and poignant cross-cultural satire that subtly sews together the hardship and hope of the refugee experience, shining a light on the hearts and lives of those at the centre of a crisis that is mostly only experienced through the headlines. 

Set on a fictional remote Scottish island, Limbo tells the story of a group of new arrivals awaiting the results of their asylum claims. It centers on Omar (played by rising star Amir El-Masry), a young Syrian musician who, thousands of miles from home, finds himself trapped by guilt, regret and the grief that he carries for the loss of his former identity. Separated from his family and burdened by a plaster cast on his arm, Omar wanders the epic landscapes searching for answers to a complex past and daunting future. 

But while he is stuck there, he isn’t alone. In between brief long-distance conversations with his parents and passing interactions with oddball locals, Omar and his new flatmates attend outrageously misjudged ‘cultural awareness’ classes, binge Friends boxsets, and debate attending the local open mic night, all the while waiting for the delivery of letters that will ultimately determine their future.

BFI FAN members that screen Limbo can expect and request:

ALSO AVAILABLE: To celebrate the release of Limbo by MUBI on 30 July, BFI FAN have teamed up with ArtReach to offer you the opportunity to add a short film to your screening.

Journeys into Film is a fresh and thoughtful selection of short films from five contemporary filmmakers that offer both artistic intrigue and an injection of the reality of displacement and seeking refuge. Through bold, experimental, and intimate approaches, these films articulate the voices of their makers’ lived experiences and will resonate with audiences across the country.

Each film can be provided individually for a small fee of £20 +VAT. The full programme can also be booked for £100+VAT and would work best as a stand alone follow up screening.

Please enquire with Dan Williamson dan@artreach.biz for more details and to get preview access to the films.

Find out more

Another Round

Dir. Thomas Vinterberg | Cert 15  | 116 mins | Denmark | 2020

Booking:

Release date: 2 July 2021

Winner of the Oscar for Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards and winner of the Best Film Not in the English Language at the 74th British Academy Film Awards.

There is an obscure philosophical theory that humans should have been born with a small amount of alcohol in our blood; that modest inebriation opens our minds to the world around us, diminishing problems and increasing creativity.

Intrigued, Martin (Mads Mikkelsen) and three of his friends, all weary high school teachers, embark on a risky experiment to maintain a constant level of intoxication throughout the workday.

Initial results are positive, but as the units are knocked back and stakes are raised, it becomes increasingly clear that some bold acts carry severe consequences.

BFI FAN members that screen Another Round can expect and request:

Sound of Metal 

Dir. Darius Marder | Cert 15  | 120 mins | Belgium/USA | 2019

Booking: michaelw@vertigofilms.com

Release date: 17 May 2021

Riz Ahmed is superb in Sound of Metal, the remarkably assured feature debut of American director, screenwriter and editor Darius Marder (co-writer of The Place Beyond the Pines) about a heavy metal drummer (Riz Ahmed) who after losing his hearing, is forced to re-evaluate his place in the world.

Ruben (Riz Ahmed) and Lou (Olivia Cooke) live together, two nomads traveling gig to gig on an endless American tour. Their music is loud, frenzied and passionate, until one day Ruben is overwhelmed by a severe ringing in his ears, which quickly gives way to deafness. Ruben is suddenly overcome by anxiety, depression, and soon enough his past addictions begin to surface. Ruben checks himself into a home for deaf addicts run by an eccentric deaf veteran, Joe. In this world of silence and under Joe’s tough, observant care, Ruben must confront himself more honestly than ever before. But the love and sound of his old life echoes in Ruben’s mind, calling for him to return…

Marder uses innovative sound design to create a powerful soundscape of scrapes and muffles that give you a real sense of Ruben’s sonic experience and interior world; including his utter panic as he is jolted into a new, quieter way of being. Injecting visceral, edgy circumstances with great sensitivity, and strengthened by tough-minded performances from Ahmed and Cooke, Sound of Metal is a poignant portrait of a man finding his way to a new revelation.

What is the BFI Film Audience Network?

The BFI Film Audience Network (BFI FAN) aims to ensure the greatest choice of film is available for everyone across the whole of the UK. Supported by National Lottery funding, it is a unique collaboration of eight Film Hubs, managed by leading film organisations and venues strategically placed around the country. Established in 2012, it now has over 1,200 members, including cinemas, festivals, multi-arts venues, community cinemas and film archives, and is at the heart of the BFI’s strategy to build larger and more diverse audiences for UK and international film and a thriving cinema exhibition sector. 

For more information on the Film Audience Network, click here.

What to expect from BFI FAN New Release support

  • Regional film marketers that work on film campaigns in every Film Hub region. You can expect increased profile and visibility in your area as well as more in-venue marketing and event opportunities.
  • Social media marketing budget is available for venues that screen FAN-supported titles. All venues and festivals can pitch for additional budget for grassroots marketing or event activity.  Get in touch at fannewreleases@watershed.co.uk with your idea.
  • A BFI FAN Marketing Pack is available for all films. Designed especially for exhibitors the pack contains event and marketing ideas, copy, images, assets, press and e-mail outreach templates to help effectively promote the film.
  • FAN support focuses on developing diverse audiences for independent films. You can expect ideas and assets, as well as case studies on what’s worked (and what hasn’t!) to help with your own audience development plans.
  • Long-term audience development support is available each year for a limited number of venues. Venues have already been selected for this round and we will be opening this support again from April 2019.
  • An open submission process for the new release film titles FAN are supporting each year. Exhibitors and distributors can submit a title to be considered for FAN support at any time. See below for more details and to submit!

If you have a question or would like to find out more, please get in touch at fannewreleases@watershed.co.uk.

Submit a title for BFI FAN New Release support

Anyone can submit a film for consideration and we particularly welcome submissions from film distributors and exhibitors. Submissions are open on a rolling basis.

To qualify for FAN support, submitted films must meet at least three of the below criteria in addition to a clear rationale for its appeal to diverse audiences. 

In selecting the titles, many are run by young audience members for Into Film, Young Audiences and Rife for their feedback to ensure that potential titles resonate and appeal to young audiences.  

Here’s a few tips for distributors that we’ve learnt so far by promoting New Release titles.

Please note FAN will only support films scheduled for release by the FDA and certified by BBFC.

  • Go beyond the mainstream offer and may be perceived as ‘risky’ or ‘challenging’
  • Have potential to engage diverse audiences (as per BFI Diversity Standards), including younger audiences (aged 16-30)
  • Show a diversity of on-screen portrayals, cultures and languages.
  • Tell distinctive British stories – with a focus on non-London
  • Make a particular contribution to the art of film (for example a distinctive style)
  • FAN can impact on in terms of audience reach and engagement

Submit a film

Further information for Film Distributors:

All FAN support is focussed on reaching diverse audiences and includes:

  • A tailored, regionally-focussed campaign – that looks at the entire life-span of the release – developed in conversation with the film distributor to complement national plans
  • Communication to FAN member exhibitors to encourage bookings and offer regional campaign support
  • A marketing consultant in each of the eight Film Hub areas working to:
    • raise visibility and attendance via regional press and marketing
    • support key venues with additional event activity and marketing
  • A small campaign budget in each of the eight Film Hub areas
  • A BFI FAN Marketing Pack designed especially for exhibitors with event and marketing ideas, copy, images, assets, press and e-mail outreach templates – ensuring exhibitors have everything in one place to help effectively promote the film

Booking Now newsletter

Booking Now is a monthly newsletter that is delivered to all FAN members. It includes booking opportunities for new releases as well as nationwide seasons (e.g. the BFI Blockbuster) and touring programmes.

Film Distributors & Event Programmers: If you have a concrete offer for FAN member exhibitors (e.g. talent available for Q&As, a touring programme or access to regional marketing support) Booking Now is the place to share it – submit information to be included via the link below.

*Please note we will not be able to include information about standard film releases. We will only include information where there is additional marketing or event activity and/or a wider programme available to book.

Submit to Booking Now

Sign up: If you’re a FAN Member, you can receive the Booking Now email every two weeks to receive the latest booking news. If you currently don’t receive it, sign up here.

Film Exhibitors: Booking Now is delivered automatically to FAN members – if you’re not a member yet, find out more about joining your nearest Film Hub.

Have a question?

Get in touch