We participated in this article for Creative Europe:
Mia Bays (right; with director Tinge Krishnan), Director-at-large, Birds’ Eye View Film. Photo Credit: Wiz
“We believe Reclaim the Frame – our UK audience development mission bringing ever-greater audiences to films by women – is vital not only for a gender equal film future but also, we believe, provides a model for the survival of specialised film in the UK and beyond.
Public funding for the production of European films is well established but access to audiences for these films is generally an uphill battle and small actions are made to address but this issue is hitting crisis levels now with so many films funded and unreleased. Our 10-city project (increasing in 2020) is backed by lottery funds from the BFI Audience Fund and helps to frame specialised films from around the world as more appealing, exciting and accessible to audiences so that they have a meaningful impact in a crowded and competitive market place. As a charity we are not-for-profit so we bring resources and funds to the releases of the films we support but we leave the income to the distributors and cinemas and financiers.
The funding of not-for-profit audience development and film marketing remains comparatively unexplored because so much funding and focus stays on making films not the rest of the process – and we believe a greater onus on the latter is essential to the survival of specialised film.
Reclaim The Frame is a unique model that addresses and aids these commercial challenges while furthering an important social mission which is to celebrate wider perspectives of the world by drawing ever-greater audiences to films by women through advocacy, conversation and community. We empower audiences to make a difference by encouraging them to attend Our special event screenings in 10 cities that feature post-screening discussion and activities. We are growing networks of influence to generate word of mouth on and off-line for films such as The Souvenir by Joanna Hogg, Atlantics by Mati Diop (through exclusive theatrical deal with Netflix) and documentaries like For Sama and Seahorse. We’ve celebrated 22 films written or directed by women this year, 90% new, 10% classics that we reframe and reclaim.
Eighteen months on from our launch, the project is going from strength to strength. Now in 10 cities/15 cinemas across the UK and with well over 100 screenings hosted in 2019, RTF continues to reach young and diverse audiences (31% are under 30 years old) and to enjoy a very high approval rating with 96% of our 2000+ survey respondents rating RTF events 4 or 5/5, and 70% indicating that they were ‘very likely’ to recommend the film they had seen.
Our prediction is that more not-for-profit initiatives can and should exist to shore up the future of specialised European cinema and expand and uphold its relevance and quality. Without an audience, we don’t have a film, we have a light show…”
More predictions from leading cinema lights here: