The UK Cinema Association held its 2020 annual conference, ‘Audiences – growing the big screen experience‘, on Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 March at Picturehouse Central, Piccadilly, London.
Over 330 UK Cinema Association members and colleagues from across the wider cinema sector gathered this week at the event to consider how the sector might further grow the current cinema-going audience.
The audience were treated to diverse range of presentations and panels exploring different aspects of the challenge of widening the cinema audience. This comes at a time when the industry is enjoying a period of extraordinary success, with the last two years seeing the highest levels of cinema admissions since 1970.
The event kicked off with a barnstorming keynote address from Writer/Producer/Director Edgar Wright, responsible for some of the most popular British films of the last decade and more, including Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and Baby Driver. Wright recalled his first experience of going to the cinema (to see the first Star Wars film) as well as his now lifelong love of cinema. Name-checking a number of his favourite London venues, he also explained his bafflement at the fact that so few other people in his position seem to be regular cinema-goers, and explained his likes and dislikes of the big screen experience.
The rest of day one saw a range of sessions covering the youth audiences, the role of festivals, the challenges and opportunities of engaging disabled audiences and lessons learnt from the BFI Film Audience Network.
After a lengthy evening drinks reception, delegates returned to day two to be treated to an opening address by film industry researcher Stephen Follows, giving a headline and often hilarious account of his current work understanding the role and value of cinema reviews.
Across the rest of the day, the audience also discussed the need for the sector to do more to engage Black and Minority Ethnic audiences, and of the challenges of turning those who currently engage in watching illegally-copied films into legitimate customers. The day finished with a panel discussion on the growing role of event cinema in engaging new cinema audiences.
The UK Cinema Association is hugely grateful to all of the many industry sponsors who made the event possible, but also to those who came along across the two days, engaging in lively debate on a matter that goes to the core of our business.
Copies of the slides used by speakers across the two days can be downloaded as follows:
- Audiences 2019 and 2020 – Lucy Jones (Comscore)
- Understanding the cinema audience – Michael Tull (DCM) and Anna Cremin (Pearl & Dean)
- Spotlight – Rio Cinema Dalston: Young Audiences Programme – Andrew Woodyatt (Rio, Dalston)
- Engaging young audiences – Leigh Thomas and Flora Menzies (Into Film)
- Spotlight – MASSIVE – David Kapur (ourscreen)
- Spotlight – Ensuring big screen experiences are not….too big – Ruth Hinton (Vue International)
- Film Festivals – a way to engage new audiences – Alison Strauss (Hippodrome, Bo’Ness), Dorothy Smith (Zeffirelli’s, Ambleside), Sally Cooper (Wells Film Centre) and Jake Harvey (Phoenix, Leicester)
- Spotlight – National Theatre Live – Karen Palmer (National Theatre Live)
- Disabled audiences – maximising opportunities for all – Rick Williams (Freeney Williams)
- Disabled audiences – maximising opportunities for all – Kathy Wilson (Derby Quad)
- Disabled audiences – maximising opportunities for all – Jane Woodason (The Light Cinemas)
- Disabled audiences – maximising opportunities for all – Andrew Simpson (Tyneside Cinema)
- BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) – lessons learnt – Ben Luxford (BFI)
- BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) – lessons learnt – Hana Lewis (Film Hub Wales)
- BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) – lessons learnt – Dan Ellis (Jam Jar Cinema, Whitley Bay)
- Spotlight – We Are Are Parable – Anthony Andrews (We Are Parable)
- Engaging Black and Minority Ethnic Audiences – Julia Lamaison (BFI)
- Spotlight – Reclaim the Frame – Mia Bays (Birds’ Eye View)
- Sinners to Saints? Engaging infringing audiences in the cinema experience – Liz Bales (Industry Trust for IP Awareness)
- Spotlight – MUBI GO – Jon Barrenechea (MUBI)
- Developing new audiences – experience from elsewhere – Guttorm Petterson (Film & Kino, Norway)
- Developing new audiences – experience from elsewhere – Jaime Tarrazon (FECE, Spain)
- Developing new audiences – experience from elsewhere – Marvin Wiechert (Yorck Kinogruppe, Germany)
- How movies brought magic to comparethemarket.com – Pier-Paolo Pettineo (comparethemarket.com)
- Developing event cinema audiences – Grainne Peat (Event Cinema Association)