Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Lotto Boost for Region's Film Scene; A Funding Boost Means Good News for Aspiring North East Film-Makers, as DAVID WHETSTONE Reports

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Lotto Boost for Region's Film Scene; A Funding Boost Means Good News for Aspiring North East Film-Makers, as DAVID WHETSTONE Reports

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID WHETSTONE

eXTRA funding awarded to a British Film Institute (BFI) scheme launched six years ago means a boost to North East cinema audiences and film-makers.

The BFI Film Audience Network, set up to ensure everyone has access to a broad choice of film, is to get more than PS4m of National Lottery funding per year until 2022.

The network was set up in 2012 to build wider and more diverse audiences for British and international film.

An evaluation of the scheme showed it had been the reason for 1.6m cinema visits from 2013 to 2017, with 40% of those by newcomers.

It is to build on that success that the scheme has been extended for four more years.

The BFI Film Audience Network is run by eight hubs across the country, each managed by leading film organisations and venues. Film Hub North is managed jointly by Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle, HOME in Manchester and Showroom Workstation in Sheffield.

Its share of the national total will mean PS730,000 per year being invested.

In another initiative, new talent executives - one per hub - will be appointed in England to give greater support to aspiring film professionals.

The BFI explains that the move recognises the strength of the hubs as spaces for film-makers and audiences to meet.

The ambition, it adds, is to ensure that aspiring talent can access support, including funding and training opportunities, in order to develop screen-related careers.

Margot James, minister for digital and the creative industries, said: "It is fantastic that BFI's Film Audience Network is expanding.

"A boost in its National Lottery funding will mean it can build on its success and bring diverse, independent British films to even more communities across the UK and inspire the country's next generation of filmmakers."

Holli Keeble, chief executive of Tyneside Cinema, said: "We know that by delivering a programme of rich and diverse content and fostering a spirit of openness in our approach, we attract local film-making talent, and we look forward to capitalising on that and proactively connecting with all those in our region with a passion for film. …

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