Saffron Screen Partnering with Film Hub South East to Transform Filmgoing in the Region



Uttlesford’s independent community cinema, Saffron Screen, is collaborating with the Independent Cinema Office and Depot cinema in Lewes in the newly launched Film Hub South East, as part of the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) and supported by National Lottery funding.

The aim of Film Hub South East and the UK-wide FAN is to encourage greater engagement with independent and British film across the country. Film Hub South East aims to deliver greater choice and access to a diversity of content to local audiences, with a focus on reaching 16-30 year olds.

Saffron Screen and Depot will particularly be working to develop a new network of Young Programmers’ Groups across the region, working with a range of organisations where cinema provision for young audiences is not so strong. Saffron Screen will also be setting up a Young Programmers’ Group in Saffron Walden, details of which will be announced soon.

With the appointment of a new BFI NETWORK Talent Executive, Film Hub South East will also work to ensure all aspiring filmmakers across the region can access funding and expertise to develop their careers.

The BFI is investing over £4 million of National Lottery funding per year in the UK-wide BFI FAN, delivering on commitments outlined in the BFI’s national five year strategy BFI 2022. Using its share of the funding for the region, Film Hub South East’s plan includes major support and development schemes to:

  • offer more outdoor screenings
  • increase the diversity of the cinema audiences in the region
  • support and strengthen film festivals
  • produce a new film heritage project focusing on the history of New Towns like Harlow and Stevenage
  • help more young people go to the cinema
  • increase the number of UK independent and world cinema titles shown in cinemas across the South East
  • Help more filmmaking talent from the South East gain a national and international platform

Film Hub South East leader and Independent Cinema Office Director Catharine Des Forges commented:

We looked closely at the whole South East while we were preparing our plans and two things stood out as unique to this region: firstly, we have one of the lowest levels of cinema provision in the UK; and secondly, people in this region attend much more than the national average. People in the South East really enjoy going to the cinema, so we want to do more to give them every opportunity to have life-changing film experiences, and for as broad a range of people as possible to see themselves on screen.”

Saffron Screen’s Programming Manager and Young Programmers’ project leader said: “We are thrilled to be invited by the ICO to participate in this project and are already developing plans for young programmers’ groups and contacts across the region to help young people become more involved with film and cinemas”.

To read Film Hub South East’s full four year plan, please click here.