Since 2007, BFFS has:
- Developed, in association with MPLC, an innovative new screening licence, designed to reduce costs and administration to film society and community cinema bookers.
- Recruited over 100 new members to BFFS, and supported the development and establishment of an estimated 100 new community cinemas across the UK. Much of this growth has been in the South West and Scottish regions.
- Supported community cinema admissions rise of 14%
- Facilitated the technical training for an estimated 80 organisations spanning from the Scottish Highlands to Northern Ireland to Cornwall.
- Supported the work of new filmmakers through introduction of new and engaging cinema to the BFFS Booking Scheme
- Published the first Community Cinema Sourcebook – an essential guide to the running of a community cinema.
- Created the BFFS Booking Scheme – a film library of over 300 titles for hire to members on advantageous terms.
Over the last 60 years, BFFS can count the following achievements as crucial to the development of the film society and community cinema sector:
- Developed a cohesive network of film societies and community cinemas across the UK.
- Supported the right of all communities to determine their own access to film culture.
- Provided a focal point for gathering and disseminating know-how, and developed as a trusted source of expertise and knowledge.
- Become recognised as the only national organisation solely devoted to the interests of not-for-profit, volunteer-led, community-based film exhibitors.
- Been instrumental in supporting the start-up and establishment of hundreds of community screening organisations.
- Providing open-access, key advice and information to any person or organisation wishing to show films within their community.
- Supported the sector through technology changes, eg the demise of 16mm, the advent of competition from alternative home-based film access.
- Established the sector as important within the UK cultural economy and with industry bodies.
- Developed communications routes and relevant technological communications tools. Recently, for example, the BFFS website included an online forum to enable peer-to-peer suggestions and offer support in problem solving
- Delivering unique opportunities for film societies and community cinemas to get involved with national programmes of screenings, such as the Dogwoof Ambassador Programme, and achieve nationwide publicity such as via Radio 4’s The Film Programme.
- Raised the profile of the sector via PR and profile-raising activities, including development of the annual Film Society of the Year Awards, working with high-profile supporters such as Ken Loach, and securing national awareness of community cinema programmes via the Find Any Film website.
- Supported hundreds of thousands of volunteers around the UK to the benefit of their communities’ cultural access and social cohesion.
- Developed the broader concept of ‘Community Cinema’, to augment the more culturally or membership-focused film societies and develop an inclusive ethos that truly promotes ‘Cinema for All.’