About the Project

‘Beyond the Multiplex: audiences for specialised film in English regions’ (BtM) was a four-year research project (conducted between 2017 to 2021), funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) under project reference AH/P005780/2. The project sought to develop an understanding of how a wider range of audiences might be enabled to participate in a more diverse film culture.

BtM brought together an interdisciplinary team of researchers from the Universities of Glasgow, Liverpool, Sheffield, and York. The Project team conducted a mixed methods project, combining social science research methods (see Data) with a digital humanities inspired set of Data visualisation and Search tools.

Through a partnership with the British Film Institute’s (BFI) Film Audience Network (FAN) and regional Film Hubs the project aimed to directly impact efforts in improving regional audience figures, widening film choice, and enhancing the cultural benefits of specialised film.

Project Team

The project involved collaboration between a team of people at the Universities of Glasgow, Liverpool, Sheffield, and York with additional support from people working independently:

Principal Investigator


Research Associates

Additional research was conducted for the project by:

Research Software Engineers / Development team


  • BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) 
    A National Lottery supported network of organisations working to build and develop audiences for British and International cinema. Beyond the Multiplex partnered with two Film Hubs: Film Hub North led by the Showroom Workstation in Sheffield, HOME in Manchester and Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle and Film Hub South West led by Watershed in Bristol.
  • The Audience Agency
    An independent not-for-profit consultancy working with cultural organisations to build audiences.

Advisory Board