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BFI allocates emergency funding to help independent cinemas amid lockdown

Cinemas remain shuttered across the UK.

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The British Film Institute (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The British Film Institute (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The British Film Institute (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The BFI Film Audience Network (Fan) has allocated emergency funding to help independent cinemas survive the lockdown.

The support comes via the BFI Fan Covid-19 Resilience Fund, which includes £1.3 million of National Lottery funding, as film theatres remain shuttered across the UK.

The Mayor of London’s Culture at Risk Business Support Fund has contributed a further £150,000 to provide grants to those in critical financial need.

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Cinemas remain closed across the UK (Yui Mok/PA)

Cinemas remain closed across the UK (Yui Mok/PA)

PA

Cinemas remain closed across the UK (Yui Mok/PA)

The fund has supported 130 Fan members across the UK with awards ranging from £415 to £23,000.

These include the MacRobert Arts Centre in Stirling, Jam Jar Cinema in Whitley Bay, Magic Lantern in Tywyn, and Bounce Cinema in London.

Ben Luxford, head of UK audiences at BFI, said: “Redirecting National Lottery and Mayor of London funding to make emergency grants to our independent exhibitors has proved to be a lifeline, enabling our fantastic venues, cinemas and festivals across the UK to remain in business in the immediate term.

“However, it is clear that these vital and unique organisations, which are crucial to the rich cultural fabric of their local communities, are still in crisis.

“When allowed to reopen, safely implementing social distancing guidance will not only be logistically impossible for some, but many are also unlikely to cover their costs when operating at reduced capacity.

“Losing these exhibitors would be a huge cultural loss for UK audiences, so I am pleased Fan has been able to help them keep the lights on while we all face the oncoming challenges.”

PA