OF/BY/FOR ALL: A Framework for Action

When a moment of crisis or outrage arises, organizations can show leadership through concrete, thoughtful action. This tool can help your team map out action on two axes: immediate vs. longer-term actions, externally with your community and internally with your team.

Podcasting a live event can be a great way to make your valuable event reach more people though the power of audio. It can help showcase the work and document the event for future listening.

This guide has been created by Adam Zmith, Co-founder of Aunt Nell, Producer of The Log Books and The Film We Can’t See.

It is a guide for film programmers / event managers / tech people working in cinemas who want to make a podcast out of their live events. It has been created for our T.L.C (aka Tender Loving Care for Trans-Led / Trans-Loved Cinema) series of events and podcasts. The is aimed at people who would like to create a podcast and are running live events in cinemas where there will be a PA/sound system and assistance from a tech person.

This guide intends to give you broad headings for everything you need to think about, some answers for how to make it all happen, and links out to further information.

Download the How To Podcast Your Live Event guide

What this resource is

Black text on a yellow background says: Working Class Inclusion: Audiences, colleagues and programming

Inclusive Cinema’s podcast series, Working Class Inclusion: Audiences, Colleagues & Programming, provides information and guidance to support exhibitors in improving cinema experiences for working-class people and those in poverty.

The resource comprises a series of six podcast episodes that cover a range of areas, from sliding-scale ticketing and equitable employment practices, to the films that are programmed and how they are presented.

There is also an access and inclusion checklist to support venues, festivals, industry initiatives and event organisers with strategic and operational measures to welcome working-class audiences and colleagues.

The series is presented by Dr. Leanne Dawson, senior lecturer in Film and Diversity and Inclusion Consultant. 

Who this is for

The resources are intended as a practical guide to support cinemas, festivals and film exhibitors to welcome working class people as audiences and staff to their venues and increase access to independent cinema for all.

What can be achieved with the guides

Working through these 6 short podcasts we hope you can find ideas and understanding of barriers for working class people, with a view to increasing access in cinemas, and offer a chance to reflect on where your venue is currently at.

The Podcasts

Click on each link to listen to all 6 podcasts

You can download the transcript for each episode from the downloads section.

EPISODE 1: What does ‘working class’ mean and how are working class people excluded?

This introductory episode explores some issues with working class inclusion such as how we define class and that the term ‘working-class’  groups many different experiences together. 

EPISODE 2: Improving working class inclusion for free

What to reflect on your organisation and how it can take small, cost-free measures to improve it’s welcome to working class people.

EPISODE 3: Broader measures: for those who can dedicate some money to welcoming working class people

What to reflect on whilst working on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion EDI) in your organisation.

EPISODE 4: Welcoming working class audiences

Consider the barriers you create that prevent people entering and/or enjoying your space or event.

EPISODE 5: Inclusive working class programming

How to include a spectrum of working class representation onscreen.

EPISODE 6: Welcoming and retaining working class colleagues

How to ensure you have working class employees at all levels of the organisation.

You can listen to all six podcast episodes of Working Class Inclusion: Audiences, Colleagues & Programming here:

Soundcloud

Amazon

Coming soon to:

Spotify

Apple

Working Class Inclusion Checklist

We have provided a checklist of measures as suggested in the podcasts to provide your staff and venue with an easy point of reference when considering inclusion of working-class people in your work.

You can find this in the downloads section on this page. 

Working Class Programming Suggestions and Film List

We have provided a list of film suggestions which can be used for ideas and inspiration for film programmers when considering working-class representation in cinema. We’ll be updating this with distributor/access materials information as this comes in (until the end of March 2023).

You can find this in the downloads section on this page. 

Working Class Inclusion: Audiences, Colleagues & Programming - Introduction to Podcast

If you’ve ever thought about how to engage young audiences aged 16-30 but have been unsure where to start or even if you’ve begun work in this area but are now thinking about how to take it to the next level, then this is the resource for you.

Film Hub London is Young Audiences lead for FAN and we have been listening to and learning from the incredible FAN members delivering this work at venues, festivals and film societies across the UK. For this guide –  FAN’s ‘Guide to Working with Young People’ –  Moira McVean (FAN Young Audiences Manager) in collaboration with FAN Young Consultant Thea Berry has gathered case studies and examples of many of the ways you can bring young people and youth voice into your venue to authentically support you in engaging young people as young audiences for independent film.

The guide is split into chapters that highlight ways in which you can work with young people and throughout you’ll find links to supporting documents and further guidance. We’ve also included plenty of real-world quotes from both young people and venue management to help with board conversations and advocacy for the benefits of this work. Crucially, everything recommended is evidence based and grounded in research.

The introduction references research documents that have helped us determine the key barriers to young people’s attendance at independent venues with statistics that point towards the business case for young audience development.

It’s possible to read this guide as a journey that a young person could take with your organisation. Beginning as a focus group participant, moving to becoming a young writer and reviewer and onwards to Youth Advisory group member, Young Trustee, Mentee and Mentor. We have also gathered a range of case studies from across FAN detailing Young Programmer initiatives and examples of how these groups have led to the formation of independent film collectives.

So, with this resource we also want to encourage you to think about opening your venue’s doors and handing over your curatorial reigns to takeovers by these young collectives, youth led festivals and film clubs.

Significantly, all the practitioners we invited to contribute have highlighted one over-riding message and that is that to effectively attract young people to your venues and events, it is essential that you involve them in the design and development of your programmes and spaces. Therefore, our intention for this resource is to inspire and encourage more of the FAN membership to embrace and experiment with working with young people. We believe that by working with young people, taking on board their suggestions and advice and innovative ways of thinking, that the rewards will include welcoming young people into your venues as new audiences for independent film.

Download BFI FAN – GUIDE TO WORKING WITH YOUNG AUDIENCES.pdf

International Day of People with Disabilities is the annual celebration of people with disabilities. In 2021 the theme was “Fighting for rights in the post-COVID era.”

Since March 2020, every person has been impacted by drastic political, social and economic change as a result of domestic and international responses to COVID-19.

It was intended that International Day of People with Disabilities should be used to recognise that people who live with disabilities are among the most affected populations amid the COVID pandemic. Where marginalisation, discrimination, vulnerability and exploitation are every day factors for many people, the increased risk of poor outcomes were magnified with the reduced access to routine health care and rehabilitation services, more pronounced social isolation, poorly tailored public health messaging, inadequately constructed mental health services, and a lack of emergency preparedness for people with access needs.

We call on domestic and international public health officials, political representatives, advocates, supporters, and every citizen in every community, to learn from the experiences of people living with disabilities during the pandemic, and push for more meaningful investments into the socioeconomic building blocks which will reduce the barriers faced by people with disabilities in every community.

Disabled representation in cinema continues to be a struggle, as we see very few authentic depictions that don’t play to the hero or tragedy tropes so often associated with disability on screen. Our ask of the film sector is to see more varied characters and stories about disability, to hire more disabled talent into production, distribution and exhibition roles in film, and to support any workers with access needs with compassion and care, so they can progress and have jobs for life in the industry.

As regards exhibition, at Inclusive Cinema, we seek to see as many subtitled, audio-described and relaxed screenings made available across the UK for those with access requirements as there are for those without access requirements.

Useful sources for accessible screenings

Your Local Cinema lists many subtitled and audio-described screenings

Accessible Screenings UK also list autism-friendly, dementia-friendly, subtitled and audio-described screenings

What this toolkit is

This toolkit is, foremostly, a practical guide for improving the experiences of POC (people of colour) audiences, staff and filmmakers – and other intersections including gender, sexuality, disability, income and class. Whilst the harm and discrimination POC face in the arts both as workers and audiences is firmly rooted within institutional and systemic injustice, preventing immediate harm is the key priority – and that begins with immediate, though not as radical, reform. This goes beyond representation, and towards creating a space built for all people rather than for primarily white audiences. Whether your cinema is in a rural part of the UK, or in a densely populated city, ethnically diverse audiences are there and it is your cinema’s role to serve them. 

The second function of this toolkit is to create lasting change for future generations, and sustain your organisation in a meaningful way (one which is framed around serving communities and not merely securing funding). To do this, you must play your role in preventing harm on an institutional and systemic level. In addition to immediately actionable tools, this toolkit will encourage inner, reflective and dialogue-based work towards undoing systemic injustice. This work will be longer term, and may at times feel personal, however confronting these uncomfortable spaces from positions of privilege is fundamental to creating wider change. Treat the provocations as actionable on a personal level within your roles and workplaces, because the results will be structural change that will not allow harm to exist within your organisations. 

Who this is for

It is important that this toolkit is offered to all staff members in your cinema or film organisation; from trustees and managers to programmers and front-of-house staff. Whilst some will find responsibility placed on them to action certain aspects, others will be empowered by the conversations around equity this toolkit may enable. We implore you to talk widely within your organisation about the implications of this toolkit, in an environment in which hierarchies are cut away. Pay all staff equally to feed into this dialogue, and you will see what emerges on this new ground.  

Whilst this toolkit has been written in the locale of South Wales, it is aimed towards independent cinemas, festivals, film-based organisations and digital film spaces across the UK – responding to regional differences in audiences, access to funding, rurality and lived experience. 

What can be achieved with this toolkit

We hope that once this toolkit is worked through, you will come away with an understanding that increasing diversity and access is not a means of sustaining your organisation, but of sustaining and resourcing the communities that cinema serves. This document further hopes to provide an opportunity to reflect on your organisation’s intentions, and how to realign those back to serving all audiences and filmmakers. 

Immediate implications will be a reimagining and dismantling of old ways of working, and implementing new models of equity within your organisation and for those who enter your space (whether physical or digital). This is necessary work as a cultural space. It is always possible if there is the will to change, from staff make-up to programming practices, organisational hierarchies to an equalisation of pay; but if there isn’t a will to change, there must be a divestment of power and transference of funding to the communities your organisation is failing to serve. This toolkit will help you confront these different potentials for change. 

This is difficult work because it calls for challenging your positionality, your personal and emotional responses, your attachment to a workplace, your unconscious and conscious biases, your own stability, your lived experiences, and the harmful structures you may benefit from. Then, it calls for a letting go. Inequity is not any one person’s fault but it is our collective responsibility to understand and undo it. And finally, it calls for a real commitment to doing the work.

Download the toolkit.

Download the plain text version.

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In April 2021, Sadia spoke with BoxOffice Podcast about the toolkit. Listen here and check at the link for a full transcript of the interview.

This Way Up 2020 - Dismantling Structural Inequalities in Your Cinema

Matchbox Cineclub Session 2: Practical Subtitling

Matchbox Cineclub held two brilliant sessions on captioning as part of the Film Hub Scotland Access Forum.    This is Session 2: Practical Subtitling   If you have any questions about captioning, from cost to practicalities of work you can’t undertake yourself, then please get in touch with Megan and Sean (matchboxcine@gmail.com)

Matchbox Cineclub Subtitling Session 1: Principles of Subtitling

Matchbox Cineclub held two brilliant sessions on captioning as part of the Film Hub Scotland Access Forum.    This is Session 1: Principles of Subtitling   If you have any questions about captioning, from cost to practicalities of work you can’t undertake yourself, then please get in touch with Megan and Sean (matchboxcine@gmail.com)

UK Disability History Month takes place from November until December.

The UK Disability Month website offers a wide range of resources to understand the importance of the struggles of Disabled People.

Cinemas and film exhibitors can use this time to promote stories which explore the history and struggles of disabled people.

It is important that accessibility is addressed in all its complexity, encompassing the physical environment, transportation, information and communication, and services.

Cinemas across the country offer access for people who may have visible or hidden disabilities, as well as offering specific accessible screenings, such as subtitled, audio described, BSL interpreted, relaxed environment, autism-friendly, and/or dementia-friendly screenings.

Find screenings…
Your Local Cinema lists many subtitled and audio-described screenings
Accessible Screenings UK also list autism-friendly, subtitled and audio-described screenings