BFI FAN - a new film release strategy

2016 sees the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) commence a new scheme to support some of the best new films from across the globe. Backed by the nine regional UK Film Hubs, over £100K will be invested with the support of BFI awarding funds through the National Lottery, to support six titles over the coming year. 

The New Release Strategy – announced at the Independent Cinema Office’s Winter Screening Days at Watershed, Bristol (16-18 January) – is a new initiative which aims to expand the reach of titles that may be perceived as ‘challenging’, including foreign language films, ensuring they are seen by more people in more cinemas.

By working closely with both distributors and exhibitors, as well as key partners like Into Film and the Independent Cinema Office (ICO), this sector-led initiative aims to support the UK market for these films as well as sustain and develop an appetite for cultural cinema across the UK. The ambition is to build on the strength of local cinema brands and the connections they have with their audiences, as well as amplifying the effect of the distributor’s national promotional campaign, to enhance audience engagement throughout the UK.

BFI FAN will work with distributors and partners to amplify and extend their marketing campaign, targeting specific audiences across the UK. Exhibitors will have access to regional preview screenings and a comprehensive marketing pack tailored to each film which will include a full range of web and social media assets, press templates and key national and regional partners and networks to tap into.

The first two films to receive support are:

  • The Pearl Button
    Patricio Guzmán’s Berlin Film Festival Silver Bear winner, (New Wave, 18 March release). 
    Cinema for All will be offering The Pearl Button on their booking scheme, available 12 weeks after release.  
  • Mustang
    Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Golden Globe nominee (Best Foreign Language Film) (Curzon Artificial Eye, 13 May).

What can Film Hub members and exhibitors expect from a FAN supported film?

  • A bigger marketing and press campaign, raising visibility and targeting specific audiences in every region of the UK,
  • Access to regional preview screenings,
  • A comprehensive marketing pack created by exhibitors for exhibitors, with top-quality, tailored content to take the hard work out of reaching your audiences. It will include: web and social media assets; press templates; key national and regional partners and networks to tap into,
  • Interesting and alternative shareable content for each of the titles.

Every film is different, so what’s on offer for each one will vary, from events with film talent, to Facebook advertising campaigns, to educational resources. These resources will be free of charge for exhibitors.  

If you have any ideas specific to events in Wales then visit our Support page here and get touch with us by email:

Film information

The Pearl Button (18 March, New Wave)
Chile 2015 / Dir Patricio Guzmán / 82min

The lyrical documentary from internationally renowned documentary director Patricio Guzmán (Nostalgia for the Light, The Battle of Chile) opens up a rich reflection on landscape, history and culture in Chile.

Guzmán takes us on a journey into the water and ocean of Southern Chile. With 2,670 miles of coastline and the largest archipelago in the world, it’s a supernatural landscape full of volcanoes, mountains and glaciers. In it are the voices of the Patagonian Indigenous people and their tragic history, the first English sailors and also those of its political prisoners. Using both archival images and gorgeous new footage, The Pearl Button (El botón de nácar) manages to convey different periods of history and geography in a gripping tale of our modern world.

Mustang (13 May, Curzon)
Turkey 2015 / Dir Deniz Gamze Ergüven / 94min

The award-winning Mustang announces a new female filmmaking talent both on the screen and behind the camera. Five sisters grow up under the strict supervision of their aunt in this sensitive and powerful portrait of sisterhood and sexuality.

It’s the beginning of the summer. In a village in the north of Turkey, Lale and her four sisters come home from school, innocently playing with boys. The supposed debauchery of their games causes a scandal with unintended consequences. The family home slowly turns into a prison, classes on housework and cooking replace school, and marriages begin to be arranged. The five sisters, driven by the same desire for freedom, fight back against the limits imposed on them.