Being inventive about funding sources is essential in cinema. From sponsorship, to film funding, to support from trusts and foundations, there are options available to most organisation types.

The BFI offers funding for audience projects through two avenues. National-scale projects can apply directly to the Audiences Fund, for either an organisational award (two deadlines a year), or through a rolling project fund. You can find out more at this link.

Regional film hubs

Cinemas running regional projects can apply for funding from their film hub. Each hub operates their funding calendar in a different way, although the aims of the funds are largely the same and refer to the priority areas under BFI 2022:

● Engaging audiences​ – maximising the number of audiences engaging with FAN activity and increasing the quality and cultural depth of their experience
● Broadening film choice​ – increasing access to a wide range of independent British and international film for audiences – especially those outside London
● Diversity​ – increasing the diversity of audiences engaging with FAN activity
● Young audiences​ – boosting participation of 16-30 year olds in FAN activity
● Screen heritage​ – facilitating greater access to archive content with a particular focus on national and regional collections

Find out about each hubs funding on their websites.

Film Hub Midlands
Film Hub North
Film Hub Scotland
Film Hub Northern Ireland
Film Hub Wales
Film Hub South West
Film Hub South East
Film Hub London

Film hubs respond to the needs and make up of their regions so funds may be formatted individually, and focus on different elements of the priorities at different times.

Cinema-specific funders

BFI Audience Fund
Creative Europe UK
Cinema for All

Diversity funders

There are also a range of funders who fund projects supporting diverse groups.

Reaching Communities from National Lottery
Big Lottery Fund
Heritage Lottery Fund
Esmee Fairbairn Foundation
The Baring Foundation
Paul Hamlyn Foundation
The Allen Lane Foundation
Arts Council
Comic Relief
Arts & Humanities Research Council
The Rayne Foundation
Jules Thorn Trust offer funding and have compiled this list of potential funders.

Sponsorship

From in-kind support of food and drink for your event to large CSR (corporate social responsibility) funds from major commercial organisations, there is money to be found for cinemas that can align the work they’re doing to the priorities of companies.

Article – What sponsors want from the arts, Artshub

Developing a Fundraising Strategy - Institute of Fundraising