Film Hub NI Christmas message
It has been an extraordinary year. Film Hub NI’s job is to support our member network to get people out of their houses and into cinemas to enjoy independent film. When the public health message suddenly changes to ‘stay at home’ due to a looming global pandemic, it is hard to adjust and reframe what our purpose as a network organisation for film audience development, now is.
What has shone through from all our members through the difficult past 10 months is the spirit of connection, sharing and goodwill right across the sector in NI, and further afield. While many members can’t actively screen films at this time, you have taken part in online meetings, stayed in touch on social media and connected with us via email and phone. This has reinforced our solid commitment to support all our members in whatever way we can, a commitment shared by the BFI and the whole of the Film Audience Network.
For those members who have been open and closed multiple times, we understand how exhausted and worn down you are. Keep heartened at the excitement from audiences and the solid ticket bookings when you are open. Cinema demonstrably has a massive part in many people’s lives, nothing can replace that.
We believe that the sector will slowly but surely rebuild, and Film Hub NI will be there alongside all our members with support, training, marketing support for events, kit hire and whatever it takes. Through the rapid processing and repurposing of funding to ensure sustainability right across the sector, the BFI through the FAN network, have reinforced the importance of film exhibition, in all its forms.
Additionally, the fantastic team at Northern Ireland Screen have supported us to manage the #BackToCinemaNI campaign, and have been very helpful and flexible in working with us on this. We are also very appreciative of all our colleagues from the Audiences team at BFI, our seven sister Film Hubs across the UK, Queen’s Film Theatre, Queen's University Belfast, Into Film, Cinema For All and Access Cinema.
It is all these connections and our network of incredible members, that motivates, and inspires us to keep going for the sake of the sector, helping to chart a way through this challenging crisis.
We hope our colleagues, members and cinema audiences have a restful and healthy break.
The Film Hub NI Team