Research and Information
The UK’s appetite for cinema is alive and well and not confined to commercial cinemas, according to the latest survey results from the British Federation of Film Societies (BFFS).
Each year BFFS conducts an annual survey of community exhibition in the UK to uncover how film society and community cinema screenings support the UK film industry and bolster the film economy.
The top findings of this year’s survey are summarised below:
- Film societies and community cinemas recorded around 206,000 admissions in 2011/12. Theatrical ticket sales on this scale would have generated box office revenues of £1.2 million.
- Community Exhibitors screened over 600 different titles in 2011/12, one quarter (23%) of which were British. 28% were in a foreign language.
- The top three most programmed titles were Of Gods and Men (dir: Xavier Beauvois, 2010, France), The Illusionist (dir: Sylvain Chomet, 2010, France) and Made in Dagenham (Dir: Nigel Cole, 2010, UK).
The survey also showed that community exhibition continues to be the backbone of national film exhibition, particularly in rural areas, reaching audiences otherwise under-served by commercial cinemas:
- 42% of community exhibitors screened in rural areas (compared with 3% of commercial screens).
- On average, film societies and community cinemas were located around 9 miles away from the nearest commercial cinema, providing vital screening opportunities to audiences outside urban areas.
The survey also found that BFFS remains highly valued by members and users of its resources and services:
“BFFS is our first and main port of call if we need advice. [Our] Council are useful for additional funding but do not really understand Community Cinema. Various web-sites and booking agencies do what they do but... with BFFS I can talk to people I know will understand.”< /i>
BFFS Managing Director, Deborah Parker said: “At BFFS we have always known, and this survey again confirms, that film societies and community cinemas are the backbone of UK film exhibition – committed to supporting British cinema and providing opportunities for audiences to share film in areas where they would not normally get the chance to. BFFS is proud to support and represent the extraordinary volunteers who work so hard to bring a wide variety of film to all parts of the country, and share in our vision of Cinema for All.”
BFFS Patron Ken Loach said: “The Federation of Film Societies continue to do a great job. They keep cinema alive in parts of the country where it would otherwise be impossible to see films. Just think what they could do with more money!”
You can also read previous reports: