Article: BFI FAN CON: Open Call for Session Ideas

BFI FAN CON is the new conference connecting the BFI Film Audience Network in Belfast from 11-13 September and we are looking for contributions from FAN members!

BFI FAN CON is when FAN comes together to strengthen our professional networks, learn about exciting projects, and draw inspiration on new ways to reach and engage audiences.

We want FAN members to submit ideas for sessions, whether this is to share learning and knowledge with your peers from your own experiences, or whether you think there are interesting ideas and initiatives we can learn from other sectors and organisations.

We want to hear about initiatives you’ve delivered, what challenges you faced and how you overcame them, how you reached new audiences or any other area of good practice that you feel would be great to share with other FAN members. Your initiative/project doesn’t have to have been 100% successful; we’re interested in the process, learning and results.

This is a paid opportunity for the ideas we take forward.

Visit the BFI FAN CON page to learn more about the conference and to register as a delegate.

What kinds of ideas are we looking for?

We want to hear from FAN Members who want to suggest and develop session ideas.

Possible formats are panel discussions, case studies, discussion groups, and workshops, but we’re open to all sorts of formats.

A few areas your session could cover:

  • Speak about the way you successfully initiated and delivered a project to reach new audiences
  • Speak about a distinctive aspect of your organisation’s work that you feel could inspire the wider membership of the BFI Film Audience Network
  • Speak about effective ways you think organisations could meet the objectives of the BFI Film Audience Network: empowering children and young people to engage with wider screen culture; increasing access for people to a wider choice of films, including stories that reflect their lives; effectively tackling social, economic, and geographic barriers for audiences; engaging more people with screen heritage; and reducing our carbon footprint.

How and when should ideas be submitted?

The closing date for submissions is Monday 3 June, at 5PM. If you’re interested in taking part please send your session idea(s) to the BFI FAN CON team at the ICO:

Your session idea should be no longer than one page and should include:

  • Session title
  • Session description (no more than 500 words)
  • Why this idea would specifically be good for other members of the Film Audience Network
  • Suggested speakers (who may well be you or include you)

You are also welcome to send an audio or video recording of no more than 8 minutes describing your idea. We are judging only on content (don’t spend any time on fancy editing or cinematography!). Send a WeTransfer or private YouTube link to

All ideas are reviewed by the Film Hub South East team that is organising BFI FAN CON.

Who can make a proposal?

Anyone working or volunteering at a BFI FAN member organisation.

All sessions will be delivered in person in Belfast unless there are exceptional circumstances that prevent you from doing so.

Is there a fee available?

If your idea is taken forward, we can pay a fee, as well as a travel and accommodation budget to travel to the event and a pass to attend the event.

While you make a submission, you can still book a ticket to attend BFI FAN CON as a delegate. If your idea is selected, you will be eligible for a speaker pass, and your paid ticket can be refunded.

If you want to ask a question about the Open Call, you can email

The closing date for submissions is Monday 3 June, at 5PM.

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