What is The Bigger Picture?

We believe there is more to watching films than meets the eye and that experiencing films together can change our lives and communities for the better.

The Bigger Picture is a BFI Film Audience Network project developed by exhibitors for exhibitors with the support of National Lottery. It showcases how film exhibitors across the UK are making a difference and encourages peer-to-peer sharing. Full of inspirational case studies, articles guides and research, this resource is a place to pick up ideas from other organisations and access a range of perspectives on what’s happening in film exhibition as well as a platform to share our stories with the wider world. The platform also signposts to other useful FAN resources including Inclusive Cinema, FAN New Releases , Film Research and Booking Now.

The Bigger Picture is based upon the Story of Change for Cultural Film (2015) framework co-designed with representatives from the exhibition sector and partners with an ambition to better understand and communicate the impacts of cultural cinema. As part of the process, the following key impact areas were identified: awareness and attitudes, knowledge and experience, social cohesion, wellbeing and economic value.

It is these values that we have taken as our impact areas for The Bigger Picture. You can search case studies by impact area (as below) as well as by the important, cross-cutting focus areas: access, diversity/inclusion and young people.

Who is behind The Bigger Picture?

Timon Singh is the Campaigns Manager (Marketing, Communications and Audiences) for BFI FAN based at Watershed, the Film Hub Lead Organisation for the South West. Ti is The Bigger Picture Editor, working collaboratively with the Film Hub South West team and UK wide BFI Film Audience Network (BFI FAN) colleagues to produce and commission content for The Bigger Picture.

If you have an idea for an article or case study or want to bring a relevant piece of research to our attention, please get in touch.

Contact: ti.s@watershed.co.uk

We welcome feedback

BFI Film Audience Network’s support for new releases is led by Film Hub South West managed by Watershed, Bristol. Across our various roles as BFI FAN Film Hub Lead organisation, Watershed is committed to maintaining positive relationships with the people and communities we work with whether they are grant recipients, partners, freelance practitioners, external stakeholders or others. We welcome feedback, positive and/or negative on your experience of working with us. When we are not as good as we should be, we want to know about it so that we can put things right. Most of the time, concerns can be dealt with through informal discussions with the people involved directly.

This is the approach that we encourage as a first step because, in most cases, matters can then be resolved quickly and straightforwardly. However, if this is not appropriate for any reason, we have a structured process for handling complaints.

Click here to find out more

What is the BFI Film Audience Network?

The BFI Film Audience Network (BFI FAN) aims to ensure the greatest choice of film is available for everyone across the whole of the UK. Supported by National Lottery funding, it is a unique collaboration of eight Film Hubs, managed by leading film organisations and venues strategically placed around the country. Established in 2012, it now has over 1,200 members, including cinemas, festivals, multi-arts venues, community cinemas and film archives, and is at the heart of the BFI’s strategy to build larger and more diverse audiences for UK and international film and a thriving cinema exhibition sector. 

Get involved! If you’d like to find out more about the Film Audience Network or have a great story to share, contact your regional Film Hub.

Find out more information about the Film Audience Network 

What are The Bigger Picture impact areas?

Awareness & Attitudes

  • Raising awareness of a variety of experiences, cultures, emotions and ideas
  • Changing attitudes towards others, helping people become more tolerant and self-aware
  • Helping people imagine different lives and different futures
  • Catalyst for political, social, cultural and policy change

Search content by ‘awareness & attitudes’

Knowledge & Experience

  • Improving levels of knowledge, understanding and literacy, for all members of society
  • Inspiring young people to imagine & realise their full potential
  • Spurring creativity & nurturing the next generation of creative talent
  • Raising aspirations

Search content by ‘knowledge & experience’

Social cohesion

  • Reduced isolation
  • Stronger communities
  • Feelings of belonging, personal and cultural identity: People feeling more confident and that they have a voice and are more engagement in society as a whole

Search content by ‘social cohesion


  • Increased wellbeing, happiness, health
  • Lives enriched

Search content by ‘wellbeing

Economic Value

  • A focal point and catalyst for the wider regeneration and economic development
  • Breathing life back into places and bringing new value in the economy
  • Raising the profile and attracting visitors to an area
  • Boosting the local supply chain (from local food and drinks to the wider film chain)
  • Encouraging local employment and skills development
  • Strengthening local and national creative industries and brand identities, ultimately contributing to the prosperity of the UK

Search content by ‘economic value’