We aim to achieve impact within the British film industry through a programme of research that directly supports the work of the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN).

FAN is composed of the eight Film Hubs which cover the whole of the UK. The aim of FAN is to position ‘specialised film’ as a recognisable, valued and important part of people’s cultural lives. FAN seeks to achieve this by a) developing a larger, more diverse and sustainable audience for specialised film and b) creating a more confident sector for the distribution and exhibition of specialised film.

Our project will help FAN and the industry sector address these two objectives by providing evidence (raw data and research outputs), tools for conducting their own analysis of the data (the online interface), and a methodology for conducting similar audience studies involving quantitative and qualitative data (the ontology).

Impact Areas and Stakeholder Working Group

The pathway to impact is built into the design of the project by involving three of FAN’s regional Film Hubs and their members directly in the research programme. A Stakeholder Working Group, made up of members from this film community, will work with the research team to ensure the wider film community can feed into the project and that the project’s findings are accessible. The impact areas are:

  • To inform BFI and FAN’s audience development policy, as well as policy development by the film sector more generally.
  • To support the cultural leadership roles of the Film Hub Lead Organistions.
  • To facilitate Film Hub members to develop activities and services based on research.
  • To help existing funded initiatives in the creative industries and digital economy by informing their understanding of audience (market) potential for specialised film and supporting their development/incubation of new services and activities.

Impact Workshops and Activities

  • In Year One there will be a project launch event for stakeholders that will highlight the programme of research and its potential value at the strategic and applied levels.
  • In Year Two there will be a full-day impact workshop to present the project’s initial findings.
  • We will present panel sessions at the This Way Up: Exhibition Innovation Conference in 2018 and 2019 to engage with the film community.
  • In the third year of the project we will undertake Delphi informed workshops and surveys with stakeholders to develop policy recommendations.


  • We will send out a quarterly online newsletter to partners and stakeholders, if you would like to join the mailing list please sign up here.
  • Updates and news about the project will also be distributed on social media, via Twitter.