Article: Applications now open for Cinema Unbound: The Creative Worlds of Powell & Pressburger

Cinemas, festivals and multi-arts and media organisations can now apply for funding to present seasons, events and screenings that celebrate the work of Powell & Pressburger and their influence.

Dive into the cinematic universe of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, whose creative partnership in the 1940s created some of the most stylistically ambitious, thematically rich, subversive, and sensual British films ever made.

Conceived by the BFI and delivered in partnership with FAN, Cinema Unbound is the greatest celebration yet of this extraordinary duo of filmmakers.

Powell & Pressburger not only transformed British cinema, but the vast, subversive, and seductive creative universes they created have gone on to influence the world of cinema and bleed into wider popular culture – allowing for numerous entry points into their work for audiences in line with the BFI’s Screen Culture 2033 priorities.

Backed by a UK-wide press and marketing campaign and a central listing platform, the season will have a broad audience appeal.

We are now inviting cinemas, festivals and multi-arts and media organisations to present seasons, events and screenings that celebrate the work of Powell & Pressburger and their influence.

You can download the Creative Brief for more information about the programme’s scope and to get some inspiration.


Am I eligible?

You must be a member of the BFI Film Audience Network to access support from this programme. Find out more about joining FAN here.

How much can I ask for?

There are three ways FAN members can engage with the programme and access support – a Menu proposal, a Bespoke proposal, or a Cross-FAN proposal.

Menu awards provide support of £125 per film for programme enhancement, wraparound activity and audience development work when you book one or more of the four key Powell & Pressburger titles (A Matter of Life and Death, Black NarcissusI Know Where I’m Going! and The Red Shoes).

Bespoke proposals can be made for up to £15,000 (with average awards expected to be in the region of £5,000) to develop a more bespoke season of films, within the parameters of the Creative Brief, which dives deeper into Powell & Pressburger’s filmography or explores their influence on more contemporary titles. There is also scope for site-specific, immersive and event cinema projects involving Powell & Pressburger’s work.

Cross-FAN proposals can be made for up to £15,000 to support programme, marketing, and outreach activity with the potential to scale or tour across the UK, or projects involving multiple events in more than one region.

How do I apply?

In the first instance, please download and read the Creative Brief and Funding Guidelines for the season. After reading the guidelines, please complete the online application via your local Film Hub.


Bespoke and Cross-FAN activity must take place between Monday 16 October and Sunday 31 December 2023. The Menu can be booked until Thursday 29 February 2024.

The deadline for Bespoke and Cross-FAN proposals is Friday 30 June at 5pm (BST). In order to be included in Cinema Unbound’s initial listings announcement, expressions of interest for Menu proposals will also need to be received by this time. After the deadline, the call for Menu applications will be kept open on a rolling basis until Monday 16 October 2023.

Decisions will be made by 24 July 2023, and the BFI’s full programme announcement is due in early September.

Access Support

If you have particular access requirements (e.g. easy read documents) or would like to submit your application in another way, please email your Film Hub.

If you have access requirements that mean you need assistance when applying for funds, you may be able to request support through the BFI Access Support Scheme – find out more here.

Cinema Unbound Exhibitor Meeting

Thursday 1 June – Watershed, Bristol

FAN members are invited to Watershed in Bristol on 1 June to join some of the BFI team and experts involved in the season to explore how you might develop bespoke activity in your area, or Cross-FAN activity beyond the South East. This is also an opportunity to connect with other organisations that are also developing such projects.

Please complete this form to register. Please note that travel and accommodation can be covered by bursaries which you can request as part of the registration process.

The day will start at 11am with teas and coffees and will end by 3pm. A vegan lunch will be provided.

Online sessions

If you can’t make it in-person to Bristol, the morning sessions will be live-streamed via Zoom for you to join and ask questions. These sessions will also be recorded for you to watch later at your convenience. To join the Zoom from 11am, follow this link. You can download the online agenda here.


You can watch a recording of the morning’s presentations on the BFI FAN YouTube channel.

Impact Areas

Focus Areas

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