SPOTLIGHT – a new initiative to develop film exhibition in Newry & Mourne.

20th March 2024 2 Minute Read

Film Hub NI are delighted to announce the SPOTLIGHT programme, part of a £1.85m package of National Lottery funding delivered by the British Film Institute (BFI).

Film Hub NI are working with Newcastle Community Cinema to develop and deliver independent cinema in the Newry and Mourne area. Work has already begun, led by Rob Manley, the Spotlight Facilitator. Over the next two year screenings, training and networking will build a strong and sustainable cinema community between Downpatrick and Newry, Warrenpoint and Banbridge.

Hugh Odling-Smee, Manager of Film Hub NI welcomed the initiative and the partnership with NCC. ‘The success and development of NCC is one of the crowning successes of NI’s creative life in the last 15 years. The whole team at NCC have married hard work and commitment to the community, with a passion for film in all its forms and we’re delighted that Rob has come on board as Spotlight Facilitator to use his expertise and love of film to help spread the spirit of NCC across the whole of Newry and Mourne.’

Across the UK, Spotlight takes a hyper-local approach to developing screenings in eight areas, each identified as having little or no screening provision by their local Film Hubs. The projects will be delivered  from 2023-2026, in many cases operating in partnership with locally based film organisations, with an end goal of establishing audiences and screening activities that can be sustained and continue once this targeted support ends.

The SPOTLIGHT areas and the partners set to receive support are:

  • Film Hub London: Barking & Dagenham and Newham
  • Film Hub Midlands: Stoke on Trent and Stafford, in partnership with Flatpack Festival
  • Film Hub Northern Ireland: Newry & Mourne, in partnership with Newcastle Community Cinema
  • Film Hub North: Sunderland, in partnership with Sunderland Shorts Film Festival
  • Film Hub Scotland: Moray Firth area, in partnership with Eden Court, Inverness
  • Film Hub South East: Peterborough, in partnership with the Gateway Film Festival
  • Film Hub South West: Swindon, in partnership with Create Studios
  • Film Hub Wales: Rural Conwy, in partnership with TAPE, Community Music & Film

‘The aim of BFI FAN has always been to open up access and opportunity for everyone across the UK to be able to discover and watch a rich variety of UK and international indie film,’ said Ben Luxford, BFI’s Director of UK Audiences.

‘Given the ongoing challenges the exhibition sector is facing, the value of FAN, particularly the financial support and training it offers, is more vital than ever. The latest FAN evaluation outlines where it has had a positive impact and helped us set the roadmap for this latest iteration – it tells us that having a connected national network which has a localised approach is key to its success. In introducing SPOTLIGHT we want to encourage ultra-local audience development, focussing on a specific area that is underserved and enable the Hubs to take action to improve the offer and engage the local community. As well as benefit to those audiences, we also hope the whole of FAN will gather learnings to make longer-term impact.’

If you are interested in working with Film Hub NI to develop screenings in the Newry and Mourne contact Rob Manley on [email protected]

The team are also holding an information and training session on April 20th 2024 at Newcastle Community Cinema - please see here for more details and booking information.

Spotlight in Newry and Mourne will be active up to March 2026.

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