FAN New Release Strategy

2016 sees the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) commence a new scheme to support some of the best new films from across the globe. Backed by the nine regional UK Film Hubs, over £100K will be invested with the support of BFI awarding funds through the National Lottery, to support six titles over the coming year. 

The New Release Strategy – announced at the Independent Cinema Office’s Winter Screening Days at Watershed, Bristol (16-18 January) – is a new initiative which aims to expand the reach of titles that may be perceived as ‘challenging’, including foreign language films, ensuring they are seen by more people in more cinemas.

By working closely with both distributors and exhibitors, as well as key partners like Into Film and the Independent Cinema Office (ICO), this sector-led initiative aims to support the UK market for these films as well as sustain and develop an appetite for cultural cinema across the UK. The ambition is to build on the strength of local cinema brands and the connections they have with their audiences, as well as amplifying the effect of the distributor’s national promotional campaign, to enhance audience engagement throughout the UK.

BFI FAN will work with distributors and partners to amplify and extend their marketing campaign, targeting specific audiences across the UK. Exhibitors will have access to regional preview screenings and a comprehensive marketing pack tailored to each film which will include a full range of web and social media assets, press templates and key national and regional partners and networks to tap into.

The films to receive support so far are:


What can Film Hub members and exhibitors expect from a FAN supported film?

  • A bigger marketing and press campaign, raising visibility and targeting specific audiences in every region of the UK,
  • Access to regional preview screenings,
  • A comprehensive marketing pack created by exhibitors for exhibitors, with top-quality, tailored content to take the hard work out of reaching your audiences. It will include: web and social media assets; press templates; key national and regional partners and networks to tap into,
  • Interesting and alternative shareable content for each of the titles.

Every film is different, so what’s on offer for each one will vary, from events with film talent, to Facebook advertising campaigns, to educational resources. These resources will be free of charge for exhibitors.  

If you have any ideas specific to events in Wales then visit our Support page here and get touch with us by email:

Film information

The Pearl Button (18 March, New Wave)
Chile 2015 / Dir Patricio Guzmán / 82min

The lyrical documentary from internationally renowned documentary director Patricio Guzmán (Nostalgia for the Light, The Battle of Chile) opens up a rich reflection on landscape, history and culture in Chile.

Guzmán takes us on a journey into the water and ocean of Southern Chile. With 2,670 miles of coastline and the largest archipelago in the world, it’s a supernatural landscape full of volcanoes, mountains and glaciers. In it are the voices of the Patagonian Indigenous people and their tragic history, the first English sailors and also those of its political prisoners. Using both archival images and gorgeous new footage, The Pearl Button (El botón de nácar) manages to convey different periods of history and geography in a gripping tale of our modern world.

Support given:

  • Magic Lantern for a film introduction, music, food and advertising.


Mustang (13 May, Curzon)
Turkey 2015 / Dir Deniz Gamze Ergüven / 94min

The award-winning Mustang announces a new female filmmaking talent both on the screen and behind the camera. Five sisters grow up under the strict supervision of their aunt in this sensitive and powerful portrait of sisterhood and sexuality.

It’s the beginning of the summer. In a village in the north of Turkey, Lale and her four sisters come home from school, innocently playing with boys. The supposed debauchery of their games causes a scandal with unintended consequences. The family home slowly turns into a prison, classes on housework and cooking replace school, and marriages begin to be arranged. The five sisters, driven by the same desire for freedom, fight back against the limits imposed on them.

Support given:


Chevalier (22 July, Optimum Releasing)
Greece 2015 / Dir Athina Rachel Tsangari

In the middle of the Aegean Sea, on a luxury yacht, six men on a fishing trip decide to play a game. During this game things will be compared. Things will be measured. Songs will be butchered, and blood will be tested. Friends will become rivals, and rivals will become hungry. But at the end of the voyage when the game is over, the man who wins will be the best man. And he will wear upon his littlest finger the victorious signet ring: the Chevalier.

Winner of the Best Film Aware at the London Film Festival 2015 and directed by Athina Rachel Tsangari (acclaimed for her feature Attenberg in 2010), Chevalier is a hilarious comedy satire exposing the bizarre lengths men will go to, to be 'the best in general'.

Support given:

  • Galeri towards running competitions for local rugby and football clubs, and advertising
  • Pontio towards Facebook advertising and bilingual programme notes


Sonita (21 October, New Wave)

Germany/Switzerland/Iran 2015 / Dir Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami

Sonita dreams of being a famous rapper. But as an Afghan teen living in Tehran, her dreams are dangerous: the Iranian government doesn’t allow girls to sing, and at home, she is expected to become a teenage bride. With the help of filmmaker Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami, Sonita is offered a chance to turn a dream into a reality but a perilous journey lies ahead. Winner of both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, Sonita is a powerful yet intimate portrait of creativity and womanhood.


Support given:

  • Wow Women's Film Club for guest speakers, print drive of A5 flyers, marketing outreach, social media and newsletter promotion and catering.


Daphne (September 29, 2017, Altitude)

UK/2017/ Dir Peter Mackie Burns


Daphne has 'sort of given up on people' as she goes through the motions of her busy life, working as a cook in a London restaurant and through a series of drug-fuelled hook-ups. She resists genuine intimacy in her few friendships and rejects her mother Rita's attempts to engage. When she witnesses a violent robbery, she's thrown into chaos and finally begins to confront the person she's become.


God's Own Country (September 1, 2017, Picturehouse)

UK/2017/ Dir Francis Lee


Johnny Saxby (Josh O’Connor) works long hours on his family’s remote farm in the north of England. He numbs the daily frustration of his lonely existence with nightly binge-drinking at the local pub and casual sex. But when a handsome Romanian migrant worker (Alec Secareanu) arrives to take up temporary work on the family farm, Johnny suddenly finds himself having to deal with emotions he has never felt before. As they begin working closely together during lambing season, an intense relationship starts to form which could change Johnny’s life forever.


Support given:

  • Savoy Theatre for marketing via Facebook and Twitter adverts and local press.