New Resource Published Focusing on Creating Better Experiences in Cinema Spaces for Those from Working-class Backgrounds and/or Those in Poverty
Working Class Inclusion: Audiences, Colleagues & Programming is a free resource to help cinemas be more inclusive.
Inclusive Cinema is launching a new free resource: Working Class Inclusion: Audiences, Colleagues & Programming, providing information and guidance to support exhibitors in improving cinema experiences for working-class people and those in poverty.
The resource comprises a series of six podcast episodes that cover a range of areas, from sliding-scale ticketing and equitable employment practices, to the films that are programmed and how they are presented. There is also an access and inclusion checklist to support venues, festivals, industry initiatives and event organisers with strategic and operational measures to welcome working-class audiences and colleagues.
Addressing the wider social context and responding to the omission of class or socio-economic position in the UK’s 2010 Equality Act, Dr Leanne Dawson (equality, diversity, and inclusion consultant, author, and academic in Screen Studies) was commissioned to explore the impact of cultural, social, and economic barriers on working-class people and their engagement with independent cinemas and pursuing careers in the industry.
Through sharing research and personal experiences, the series provides practical guidance and encouragement for organisations, outlining how positive interventions can lead to increased diversity across audiences and the workforce. It looks at the definition of ‘working-class,’ which groups many different experiences together — some people raised in poverty, others not, some in towns, some rurally, some with multiple diverse characteristics — and considers social mobility between classes and the impacts of financial income and cultural capital to participation in independent cinema.
Checklists outlining inclusion strategies and measures will accompany the podcasts. A film programming resource will also highlight the rich diversity of working-class stories and talent behind and in front of the camera, covering fiction features, documentary and short film. This will be complemented by ideas to make screenings available and more welcoming to working-class audiences, colleagues, as well as creatives, resulting in a deeper engagement with independent films and venues. Booking details and information on access materials, such as descriptive subtitles and audio description, will also be provided.
Dr. Dawson explains why putting this resource together should be helpful to the exhibition sector:
“I really want to help you make your cinema, festival, screening, or event as welcoming as possible to all working-class people. This series of resources comprises podcasts offering practical tips on how to attract and welcome more working class people and accompanying checklist documents that can be easily used to note what you’re currently doing well and what could be further improved on your journey to working-class inclusion.”
Resource topics include:
Why working-class people feel excluded: exploring how class intersects with other parts of identity and why many people who are working-class may feel excluded from independent cinema/film festival spaces and why measures are needed.
Free and broader measures that can be put in place to increase inclusion and access, from practical no-cost changes to budgeted interventions for welcoming more working-class audience members and colleagues.
How advertising, outreach, sliding scale ticketing and ‘pay it forward’ models to attract and retain working-class audiences.
How inclusive programming should take into consideration the types of stories and identities being shown, who is making programming decisions and how programming can provide space and support for established and aspiring working-class filmmakers.
Guidance on staffing and how to attract, support, develop, and retain working-class colleagues at all levels.
The podcast and accompanying documents will be available through the Inclusive Cinema website on 1st March 2023: https://inclusivecinema.org/
Inclusive Cinema is led by Film Hub Wales and supported by the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) – using funds from the National Lottery to ensure the greatest choice of cinema is available to everyone across the UK.
Funds in Wales are administered by FHW via Chapter as the Film Hub Lead Organisation.
More than £30M is raised each week for good causes across the UK by the National Lottery.
About Film Hub Wales
Film Hub Wales (FHW) celebrates cinema. We support organisations that screen film, from film festivals, to societies and mixed arts centres. Working with over 315 Welsh exhibitors, we aim to bring the best UK and international film to all audiences across Wales and the UK. Since Film Hub Wales set up in 2013, we’ve supported over 300 exciting cinema projects, reaching over 560,000 audience members.
We’re one of eight Hubs that make up the UK-wide BFI Film Audience Network (BFI FAN) and made possible thanks to National Lottery funding. The Wales Hub is managed by Chapter appointed as the ‘Film Hub Lead Organisation’ (FHLO).
We are also proud to lead on the UK inclusive cinema strategy on behalf of BFI FAN.
About Inclusive Cinema
Inclusive Cinema is a UK-wide project from the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN). It supports film exhibitors by countering cultural, systemic and physical barriers, with the aim of enabling everyone to participate in cinema. Exhibitors can access training, events and hundreds of resources on inclusivecinema.org – including a guide to dismantling structural inequality.
Led by Film Hub Wales on behalf of BFI FAN, the project champions the network’s aims to bring UK, international and independent film to audiences, working towards the BFI Diversity Standards.
About the BFI Film Audience Network
Supported by National Lottery funding, the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN), is central to the BFI’s aim to ensure the greatest choice of film is available for everyone. Established in 2012 to build wider and more diverse UK cinema audiences for British and international film, FAN is a unique, UK-wide collaboration made up of eight Hubs managed by leading film organisations and venues strategically placed around the country. FAN also supports talent development with BFI NETWORK Talent Executives in each of the English Hubs, with a mission to discover and support talented writers, directors and producers at the start of their careers.
BFI FAN Film Hubs are:
Film Hub Midlands is led by Broadway, Nottingham working in partnership with the Birmingham-based Flatpack
Film Hub North is led collectively by Showroom Workstation, Sheffield and HOME Manchester
Film Hub South East is led by the Independent Cinema Office
Film Hub South West is led by Watershed in Bristol
Film Hub Scotland is led by Glasgow Film Theatre
Film Hub Northern Ireland is led by Queen’s University Belfast
Film Hub Wales is led by Chapter in Cardiff
Film Hub London is led by Film London
About the BFI
We are a cultural charity, a National Lottery distributor, and the UK’s lead organisation for film and the moving image. Our mission is:
To support creativity and actively seek out the next generation of UK storytellers
To grow and care for the BFI National Archive, the world’s largest film and television archive
To offer the widest range of UK and international moving image culture through our programmes and festivals – delivered online and in venue
To use our knowledge to educate and deepen public appreciation and understanding
To work with Government and industry to ensure the continued growth of the UK’s screen industries
Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter.
The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Tim Richards.
Chapter is one of Europe’s largest and most dynamic arts centres with cinemas, theatres, exhibition spaces, studios, a café, award-winning bars, over 60 cultural workspaces and more.
Chapter has an international reputation for excellence, innovation and collaboration. It offers an ever-changing programme of the best performance, films and exhibitions from Wales and from around the world.