FAN New Release Strategy

2016-early 2018 saw 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 was invested with the support of BFI awarding funds through the National Lottery, to support six titles over the year. 

In 2018 BFI FAN launched a new plan to support new release films. For more information click here.

The New Release Strategy – announced at the Independent Cinema Office’s Winter Screening Days at Watershed, Bristol (16-18 January) – was a new initiative, which aimed 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 aimed to support the UK market for these films as well as sustain and develop an appetite for cultural cinema across the UK. The ambition was 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 worked with distributors and partners to amplify and extend their marketing campaign, targeting specific audiences across the UK. Exhibitors had 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 that received support were:

Film Hub members and exhibitors gained from a FAN supported film the following:

  • 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 included: 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 was on offer for each one will varied, from events with film talent, to Facebook advertising campaigns, to educational resources. These resources were free of charge for exhibitors.

Members had the opportunity to submit proposals to Film Hub Wales directly if they had specific ideas about events in Wales. 

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.


The Prince Of Nothingwood (December 15, 2017, Vertigo)

France/Germany/ Dir Sonia Kronlund

A joyous portrait of Salim Shaheen, Afghanistan’s most popular actor, director and producer, ‘The Prince of Nothingwood’ is a gripping, heartwarming and often funny tale of creativity against all odds. Having made a record 110 films over 30 years, despite no budget and the country’s ongoing war, Shaheen is ‘The Prince Of Nothingwood’, the man behind the movie industry in Afghanistan (aka ‘Nothingwood’).

Support given:


A Fantastic Woman (March 2, 2018, Curzon Artificial Eye)

Spain, Chile, Germany, USA

Marina and Orlando are in love and planning for the future. After celebrating Marina’s birthday one evening, Orlando falls seriously ill. Marina rushes him to the emergency room, but he passes away just after arriving at the hospital. Instead of being able to mourn her lover, suddenly Marina is treated with suspicion. The doctors and Orlando’s family don’t trust her. Marina is a trans woman and for most of Orlando’s family, her gender identity is an aberration, a perversion. So Marina struggles for the right to be herself. She battles the very same forces that she has spent a lifetime fighting just to become the woman she is now – a complex, strong, forthright and fantastic woman.

Support given:

  • Pontio, Bangor for the creation of a bespoke flyer, linking publicity to ‘120BPM’ screenings at Pontio and use of Facebook adverts.
  • Magic Lantern for marketing and outreach support to targeted audience networks, both locally and further afield.
  • Theatr Gwaun for supported marketing materials across print, posters and Facebook adverts.

New Release Preview Day

On January 19, 2017, we ran a New Release Previews Day at Chapter, Cardiff, which included a screening of The Fits, and Oscar winning film Moonlight, with an introduction from Altitude Films, followed by group discussions.