BFI’s Open Cinema initiative to offer regular free indie screenings

BFI Open Cinemas
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In a promising move, the BFI is planning to offer free indie film screenings through its Open Cinema initiative.


This really sounds like something. The BFI has announced that, as part of its Open Cinemas initiative, regular free screenings of independent films will be coming to UK cinemas in early 2024. Crucially, the strategy will be backed up by a campaign ‘with national reach’ so awareness of the scheme is high.

According to Screen Dailythe BFI ‘is investing £2.7m of National Lottery good cause funding in the initiative from now until March 2026,’ while also looking for further investors and sponsors.

The aim is to raise interest in independent cinema and raise the profile of film, ‘providing audiences across the UK a broader range of screen culture in cinemas, with a focus on tackling social and economic barriers.’

Cinema lead

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“A new approach for our funding, we believe Open Cinemas offers an exciting opportunity to bring the industry together and create a regular national moment that drives new audiences to cinemas,” states Ben Luxford, head of UK audiences at the BFI.

Despite some of the UK’s brilliant independent cinemas offering all kinds of great deals, expense remains a key factor for some people when it comes to visiting the movies. This initiative certainly seems like it could be a move that is of benefit to all involved and we’ll be watching keenly to see how the scheme develops.

We’ll bring you more on Open Cinemas as we hear it.

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