Initiative aims to expand film culture in the capital as part of the BFI Film Audience Network.

Film London officially launched Film Hub London at an event at the ICA last night. London’s Hub, receiving £800,000 ($1.3m) lottery funding from the BFI over four years, has already attracted more than 100 members representing 30 of London’s 33 boroughs.

Details of its first initiatives were announced including funding awards and a brand new programme of archive film, curated by London’s Screen Archives.

London Film Hub forms part of the BFI Film Audience Network, and its membership of commercial and independent cinemas, film clubs and smaller community groups, aims to expand the film culture offer across the whole of London in a bid to boost film audiences.

Adrian Wootton, CEO of Film London and the British Film Commission said: “Officially launching the Hub with over 100 members demonstrates the sheer ambition of organisations to broaden the film offer for Londoners, which is hugely encouraging.

“Working with the smallest community groups through to the commercial cinema chains allows us to do something really special with film culture in London, significantly growing audiences by delivering inclusive, imaginative and engaging screening activity.

“With the membership, funding awards and Made in London programme launched today, I am excited to develop the Hub over the next three years, to capaitalise on this fantastic potential.”

Screening collective A Nos Amours Co-founded by Exhibition writer-director Joanna Hogg and Adam Roberts is a Film Hub London Member.

Hogg and Roberts spoke at the launch about the importance of offering audiences a rich array of film culture: “We’re thrilled to be part of such a collaborative network that shares our ambition in championing the value of the collective film-watching experiences, and increasing audience choice for as many people as possible.”

Community Screen Scheme

Offering funding, training, subsidised screening programmes celebrating London and access to audience research, the Community Screen Scheme is the Hub’s first funding scheme and aims to reach new and underserved audiences in their local areas.

Receiving applications for activity in 21 different London boroughs, 10 grants of £3,000 have been awarded to community groups to develop sustainable screening activity.

Through a partnership between the Hub and Vue Entertainment, two awardees will present their screening activity at Vue cinemas around the outskirts of London, which represents a major contributor to Film Hub London’s aim to strengthen local partnerships with the commercial exhibition sector.

Successful projects include Gujarati Films in Croydon, Chadwell Heath Cinema Club, in Barking and Dagenham and South Africa: Celebrating 20 years of Freedom & Democracy through Film in Haringey. Projects will also take place in Southwark, Hounslow, Lewisham, Hackney, Camden, Barnet and Lambeth.

Apsara Arts, a community-led organisation will use the funding to deliver a programme of Gujarati films for Croydon’s older Gujarati community utilising Vue Croydon Grants.

Malti Patel from Apsara Arts said: “The support from Community Screen Scheme will enable us to bring senior citizens together to enjoy films otherwise unavailable to them in the capital. This is an opportunity to educate non-Guajarati film lovers in the richness and cultural diversity of this region, as well as allow Gujarati speakers to re-connect with their language and culture”.

Made in London

Film London also unveiled the Hub’s inaugural Made in London programme, which will be available for members to screen across the capital.

Seven Streets, Two Markets and A Wedding: Glimpses of Lost London 1930 - 1980, is a new feature length programme of archive footage curated by London’s Screen Archives, the city’s network of heritage film collections managed by Film London.

The collection of 10 rare films is presented theatrically for the first time. It offers glimpses of lost London from 1930 to 1980 with the original Lambeth Walk, dray horses in 1960s Marylebone and an East End parade.