The project impacted on the British film industry through a programme of research that directly supports the British Film Institute (BFI) Film Audience Network (FAN) in their work.
FAN is composed of the eight regional Film Hubs, which cover all parts of the UK. FAN positions ‘specialised film’ as a recognisable, valued, and important part of people’s cultural lives. As part of this, the two key objectives of FAN are:
- To develop a larger, more diverse and sustainable audience for specialised film
- To create a more confident sector for the distribution and exhibition of specialised film.
Beyond the Multiplex (BtM) helped FAN and the wider British film industry sector to address these objectives by providing: (i) evidence in the form of data, findings, and research outputs; tools for conducting analyses of the data (e.g., data visualisation and search tools); and (ii) a methodology for conducting similar audience studies through mixed methods social science research and the use of an ontology.
Impact Areas and Stakeholder Working Group
A pathway to impact was built into the design of the project by involving three FAN regional Film Hubs and their members to work directly in the research programme. For this, a Stakeholder working group, made up of members from the UK film community worked with the project team (as an advisory board) to participate, and ensure that the project’s findings were accessible. The impact areas include:
- Informing BFI and FAN audience development policy, as well as policy developments within the UK film sector more generally.
- Supporting cultural leadership roles of the BFI Film Hub lead organisations.
- Facilitating BFI Film Hub members to develop activities and services based on research.
- Helping existing funded initiatives in the creative industries and digital economy by informing their understanding of audiences (market) and the potential for specialised film, as well as supporting their development/incubation of new services and activities.
Impact Workshops and Activities
- Year One – The project team hosted a project launch event for stakeholders to highlight the programme of research and its potential value at both strategic and applied levels.
- Year Two – The project team held impact workshops to present the project’s initial findings and presented the research in a panel sessions at the This Way Up: Exhibition Innovation Conference in 2018 to engage with the film community.
- Year Three – The project team undertook Delphi workshops and surveys with stakeholders to develop a set of policy recommendations.
- Year Four – The project team set out the research is various outputs and sought directions for follow-on research projects.