The initiative aims to provide bespoke technical advice for independent exhibitors across all nine of the BFI’s Audience Network Hub areas.

The Independent Cinema Office and BFI Film Audience Network have launched a UK-wide ‘Technical Skills for Digital Exhibition’ training initiative.

The nationwide initiative will provide bespoke technical advice and assistance for independent exhibitors of all shapes and sizes.

Technical Ambassadors (TAs) – including skilled projectionists, technicians and engineers - have been selected from each of the nine BFI Film Audience Network Hub areas across the UK.

For the next 6 months the TAs will deliver on-demand assistance and training to organisations within their own and neighbouring hub regions who request assistance and training with their digital equipment and advice in areas such as 3D, live music events, pop up screenings and live –by-satellite events.

The programme was officially launched at the Technical Ambassadors New Technology Forum  at BFI Southbank, where the team of Technical Ambassadors from across the UK gathered together for the first time.

The Forum included a keynote speech from David Monk, CEO of European Digital Cinema Forum (formerly of Texas Instruments), presentations on future cinema technologies, including immersive sound, Higher Frame Rate (HFR), laser projection and new high brightness “white screens”. 

The scheme is supported by Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Fund, which is funded by the BFI with National Lottery.

Catharine Des Forges, Director of the ICO, said: “A lot of the enquiries we get in the office are on technical issues; it can be very difficult for independent exhibitors looking to develop their facilities to gain bespoke independent advice and Tech Skills will be of fantastic benefit to the sector.”

Eddie Berg, Director of Partnerships for the BFI, said: “The BFI Film Audience Network is all about bringing a greater choice of film to audiences across the UK through a network of partners who understand their local audiences and who can now take up the advances offered by digital technology to capitalise on creating new opportunities for audiences to engage with film.”

Rebecca Davies, Film Partnership Manager for Creative Skillset said:  “In the fast-paced environment of digital exhibition, this support network of technical expertise will be an invaluable resource to the Film Audience Network and its partners.  Venues will be able to access affordable on-site expertise to train and educate staff in managing new technical challenges, helping to create in-house solutions in the future and ultimately enabling optimum presentations for audiences.”