Inclusive Cinema tasks cinemas to take anti-racist action with launch of new guide

Inclusive Cinema tasks cinemas to take anti-racist action with launch of new guide 

The BFI Film Audience Network’s Sinema Cynhwysol has launched a practical guide for improving the cinema experiences of ethnically diverse audiences, and staff, which challenges institutions to make good on their Black Lives Matter and anti-racism statements from 2020. 

Sinema Cynhwysol is a UK-wide project funded by the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) through the National Lottery to support exhibitors in welcoming everyone to participate in cinema, by countering cultural, systemic or physical barriers. The new guide ‘Dismantling Structural Inequality in Your Cinema’ was commissioned from artist and freelancer Sadia Pineda Hameed and focuses on the cinema experiences of ethnically diverse people, with reference to intersections including gender, sexuality, disability, income and class.

From immediately actionable tools, to encouraging inner, reflective and dialogue-based work towards undoing systemic injustice, the guide is intended to create lasting change for future generations, and sustain organisations in a meaningful way, cited by its writer as “the last toolkit that cinemas should need” when it comes to making their spaces truly inclusive of and led-by ethnically diverse people.

Speaking at film exhibition conference, This Way Up, in December 2020, Sadia Pineda Hameed, author of the guide said:  

This toolkit wants to help you within your cinema or organisation to dismantle historic, powerful and violent structures; it’s not about reforming a single workplace but actually creating a more sustainable sector. It’s about decolonisation not diversification. The toolkit does not prioritise visible diversity and inclusion, but prioritises making sure exclusion can’t exist in your space … Share it with your funder and ask your funder to hold you accountable to it, and vice versa.

The toolkit examines the role of cinemas in the context of systemic injustice and focuses on preventing harm towards people of colour as audience members, staff and creators who exhibit their films, and arrives in tandem with Dogwoof’s latest release, charting Martin Luther King Jr.’s mistreatment by the FBI, MLK/FBI, available in virtual cinemas and on demand, from 15 January.  

As audiences connect the dots between the seeds to Black Power rising from the ‘50s and ‘60s, to Black Lives Matter in 2020, the vital reminder is that institutional and structural racism are still endemic issues within our society and culture, requiring multiple strategies and committed action.  

Toki Allison, BFI Film Audience Network Access Officer, who oversees the Inclusive Cinema project, explains:  

“Many cinemas have made statements recognising that structural change is essential after the resurgence of Black Lives Matter bringing racism forcibly into the public consciousness in 2020. This toolkit provides short and long-term actions for organisations to take, to show their true commitment to not only making statements, but taking anti-racist action to create an equitable space for Black, Asian, and ethnically diverse talent, curators, staff and audiences. It’s a comprehensive and inarguably uncompromising document, but it will only be effective if organisations take it, absorb it, recognise the deep work that needs to be done, and get on and do it. I’m looking forward to seeing real change happen, including true accountability from white-led organisations who give up their power and make way for ethnically diverse leaders, makers and curators to share stories in their own ways.” 

Rico Johnson-Sinclair, director and founder of CineQ, and festival manager at SHOUT Festival, was consulted in the creation of the toolkit, and said: 

There’s been a bit of work in the film industry generally over the last couple of years. And whilst this work is formative, it’s still optional and very base level. While the industry is debating whether or not to even implement systems of equality within their organisations, people of colour from all perspectives are put on the backburner time and time again, in lieu of something, anything else, that seems to take priority due to its rise in the public sphere. As this happens, whole generations of black and brown storytellers, creatives and hard-working film-lovers are cast aside to protect a casually and subversively racist status quo. This toolkit not only helps organisations to acknowledge systemic racism happening in their backyards (within a film industry that was built during a time where the only representation we had was given to us by white people), it also shows us a path to valuable self-learning; to implement change across the team to ensure that as the conversation changes and evolves amongst marginalised people (which it will inevitably do), organisations are able to keep up. Instead of performative, this toolkit champions the formative and sustainable.” 

Alex Misick, programme coordinator at The Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, who have begun the work to structural change in their venue, said: 

I like how the guide doesn’t pull any punches, and is quite explicit about the politics that underpin so much of what hopefully, should be a historic approach. One of Sadia’s key points is that this isn’t just a strategy to be implemented from the top-down of an organisation. These are conversations that need to happen between staff, not necessarily led by senior management, and to be implemented at an individual level… Instead of following capitalist logic of doing more, this is a moment to take a step back, and to recognise there’s a rupture in consensus and let’s not go back to normal.

You can find the toolkit in the how-to guides section of the Inclusive Cinema website yma and/or download it here.

You can find virtual screenings and on demand links to watch MLK/FBI yma. 

Diwedd.

Download the full press release

Am ragor o wybodaeth, cysylltwch os gwelwch yn dda gyda:
Toki Allison, BFI FAN Access Officer, on 07866 451949 / toki@filmhubwales.org

About Inclusive Cinema

Inclusive Cinema is the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN)’s UK-wide project to support exhibitors in welcoming everyone to participate in cinema, by countering cultural, systemic or physical barriers.

Led by Film Hub Wales on behalf of BFI FAN, the project champions the network’s aims to bring British, international and independent film to audiences. With a focus on young audiences (16-30) and a skilled, confident, exhibition sector, access is at the heart of FAN’s strategy. In partnership with our creative network of exhibitors, we celebrate meaningful representations of diversity behind the camera, on screen and in our audiences, working towards the BFI Diversity Standards.

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About Dogwoof Distribution
Founded in 2003 by Andy Whittaker, Dogwoof is a London-based, documentary film company integrating production, sales, and UK theatrical distribution. Dogwoof has so far released 26 Oscar®-nominated documentaries, with four wins and an additional three BAFTA winners; notable titles include Oscar®-winning and BAFTA-winning Free Solo, Oscar®-nominated RBG, BAFTA-winning The Act of Killing and Blackfish.

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Am Canolfan Ffilm Cymru: 

Nod Canolfan Ffilm Cymru ydy cyflwyno rhagor o ffilmiau i ragor o bobl mewn rhagor o leoedd o amgylch Cymru. Yn rhan o Rwydwaith Cynulleidfa Ffilm BFI, a gyda chefnogaeth cyllid y Loteri Cenedlaethol, mae Canolfan Ffilm Cymru yn rheolaidd yn datblygu ffyrdd dyfeisgar i bobl yng Nghymru fynd i’r sinema gyda’i leoliadau aelod annibynnol. 

Mae Canolfan Ffilm Cymru yn un o wyth ‘canolfan’ DU gyfan, rhan o Rwydwaith Cynulleidfa Ffilm (FAN) BFI ac fe’i cefnogir gyda chyllid y Loteri Cenedlaethol gyda Chapter wedi’i benodi yn Gorff Arweiniol Canolfannau Film (FHLO) yng Nghymru. Ein nod ydy cyrraedd cynulleidfaoedd trwy ddatblygu’r sector arddangos, cynnig cefnogaeth prosiect ymchwil, hyfforddiant a datblygu cynulleidfaoedd. Ers sefydlu Canolfan Ffilm Cymru yn 2013 rydym wedi cefnogi dros 225 o brosiectau sinema a chyrraedd dros 465,000 o aelodau cynulleidfa 

 They also lead on the UK inclusive cinema strategy on behalf of BFI FAN.  

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Rhwydwaith Cynulleidfa Ffilm BFI  

Gyda chefnogaeth cyllid y Loteri Cenedlaethol. Mae Rhwydwaith Cynulleidfa Ffilm (FAN) BFI yn ganolog i nod BFI o sicrhau bod y dewis mwyaf o ffilmiau ar gael i bawb. Fe’i sefydlwyd yn 2012 i adeiladu cynulleidfaoedd ffilm DU ehangach a mwy amrywiol i ffilmiau Prydeinig a rhyngwladol. Mae FAN yn gydweithrediad DU gyfan, unigryw sydd yn cynnwys wyth canolfan a reolir gan gyrff a lleoliadau ffilm wedi’u lleoli’n strategol ar draws y DU. Mae FAN hefyd yn cefnogi datblygiadau talent gyda Swyddogion Gweithredol Talent RHWYDWAITH BFI ym mhob un o’r canolfannau yn Lloegr, gyda’r genhadaeth o ddarganfod a chefnogi awduron, cyfarwyddwyr a chynhyrchwyr talentog ar ddechrau eu gyrfaoedd.  

Canolfannau Ffilm FAN BFI ydy:  

  • Film Hub Midlands dan arweiniad Broadway, Nottingham mewn partneriaeth gyda Flatpack o Brimingham 
  • Film Hub North dan gyd arweinyddiaeth Showroom Workstation, Sheffield, a HOME Manchester  
  • Film Hub South East dan arwieniad y Swyddfa Sinema Annibynnol  
  • Film Hub South West dan arweiniad Watershed ym Mryste 
  • Film Hub Scotland dan arweiniad Glasgow Film Theatre  
  • Film Hub Northern Ireland dan arweiniad Queen’s University Belfast  
  • Canolfan Ffilm Cymru dan arweiniad Chapter yng Nghaerdydd 
  • Film Hub London dan arweiniad Film London 

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 Am BFI 

BFI ydy corff arweiniol y DU ar gyfer ffilm, teledu a’r delwedd symudol. Mae’n elusen diwylliannol sydd yn: 

  • Curadu ac yn cyflwyno’r rhaglen gyhoeddus ryngwladol fwyaf o sinema byd i gynulleidfaoedd, mewn sinemau, gwyliau ac ar-lein  
  • Yn gofalu am Archif Cenedlaethol BFI – yr archif ffilm a theledu mwyaf arwyddocaol yn y byd 
  • Yn chwilio am y genhedlaeth nesaf o wneuthurwyr ffilm ac yn eu cefnogi,  
  • Yn gweithio gyda’r llywodraeth a’r diwydiant i wneud y DU yn lle mwyaf creadigol gyffrous a ffyniannus i wneud ffilm yn rhyngwladol. 

Wedi’i sefydlu ym 1933, mae BFI yn elusen gofrestredig wedi’i llywodraethu gan Siarter Brenhinol. 

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 Am y Loteri Cenedlaethol 

Diolch i chwaraewyr y Loteri Cenedlaethol, mae hyd at £600 miliwn o gyllid wedi ei ddarparu i gefnogi cymunedau ar draws y DU yn ystod y pandemig Coronafeirws. 

Mae'r Loteri Cenedlaethol yn chwarae rhan hanfodol mewn cefnogi prosiectau, pobl a chymunedau yn ystod y cyfnod heriol yma. 

Drwy chwarae'r Loteri Cenedlaethol, rydych yn gwneud cyfraniad rhyfeddol at yr ymateb cenedlaethol i frwydro yn erbyn effaith COVID-19 ar gymunedau lleol ar draws y DU. 

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 Am Chapter 

Mae Chapter yn un o ganolfannau celfyddydau mwyaf a mwyaf deinamig Ewrop gyda sinemau, theatrau, gofod arddangos, stiwdios a chaffi, bariau arobryn, dros 60 o ofod gweithio diwylliannol a rhagor. 

Mae gan Chapter enw da rhyngwladol am ragoriaeth, arloesi a chydweithredu. Mae’n cynnig rhaglen newidiol barhaus o’r perfformiadau, ffilmiau ac arddangosfeydd gorau o Gymru ac o amgylch y byd.

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