Article: EVENT: FAN Conversations #4: Exploring the benefits of connecting with younger audiences

The next FAN Conversation event will be held at 10am on Tuesday 29th March and will “explore the benefits of connecting with younger audiences and approaches that will help you achieve it.”

As a sector, we’re acutely aware of the need to engage younger audiences with independent venues and their film offerings from both a business and access perspective. In the current challenging operating context with stretched resources, how might we go about designing offerings that respond to ever shifting viewing habits and the economic and social realities facing young people? Join in this session for some valuable and inspiring insights from FAN young consultants and member venues who are trying different approaches to engage 16-30 year olds in independent film culture and cinema going.

They will be sharing their experiences of initiatives such as: implementing ticketing schemes, running focus group sessions, switching up their food offers, commissioning young bloggers and even opening up their doors to independent young curators and community groups.  Led by two members of the FAN Young Consultants, the Conversation aims to offer inspiration whilst remaining mindful of the (almost) post-pandemic reality we now find ourselves in.

FAN Conversations are a series of discussions designed to create and respond to the need for exchange amongst film exhibitors across the UK .

The session will be chaired by:

Thea Berry (Exhibitor Relations Officer at Together Films)

Having completed an MA in Curating at UWE Bristol in 2018, Thea Berry joined the
programming team as Cinema Producer at Watershed in 2019. With a keen focus on audience development and young audiences, Thea went on to work with Exeter Phoenix to build a new audience development strategy aimed at connecting with 18–25-year-olds in Devon.

She now works at Together Films as their Exhibitor Relations Officer, working with theatrical and non-theatrical venues to produce events and screenings of impact documentaries. This is supported by work as a freelance film programmer and regular contributor to The Bigger Picture.

Panelists will include:

Caroline Wilson (Independent Curator and Producer UNDR LNDN)

Caroline is a writer, curator and creative producer who loves storytelling. In 2017, she co-founded the film platform UNDR LNDN which hosts film screenings, workshops and supports local emerging filmmakers. 

UNDR LNDN has collaborated with the Barbican, 198 Gallery, and Genesis Cinema to create community film screenings and is developing to expand their digital content and outreach.


Tom Jowett (Film Programmer & Marketing Manager at Oxford’s Ultimate Picture Palace) 

Tom is the Programming & Marketing Manager at Oxford’s only independent cinema, The Ultimate Picture Palace. Prior to joining the UPP as Marketing Manager in 2016, he worked at the Ashmolean Museum and also ran a small independent record label for a couple of years. While now mainly responsible for booking films and organising events at The UPP, he can also be found in the cinema’s Box Office selling tickets or behind the bar serving cups of tea. 

Rafa Sales Ross (Freelance Film Journalist & Community Engagement and Learning Manager at Aberdeen’s Belmont Filmhouse) 

Rafa Sales Ross is the Community Engagement and Learning Manager at Belmont Filmhouse in Aberdeen and a freelance film journalist with bylines in publications such as Little White Lies, Total Film and The Skinny. 


Tyrone Walker Hebborn (Film Producer & Owner of Genesis Independent Cinema) 

Tyrone Walker-Hebborn is the owner of the hugely successful Genesis Independent Cinema in London’s vibrant East End. He is also the Film Producer responsible for Director Carol Morley’s first feature film EDGE & a co-founder of the longstanding East End Film Festival. 

Through an innovative programme & willingness to try unorthodox events, Tyrone has seen audience figures grow while the UK has seen a decline. Having a unique position in the film industry Tyrone deals with every aspect of the business from pre-production through to exhibition & has extensive personal experience of film makers through to distributors.

Sign up for the next FAN Conversation here

Watch the previous FAN Conversations here.

+ FAN Conversations 

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