Article: EVENT: FAN Conversations #1: How are cinemas reconnecting with their communities as they reopen?

The first FAN Conversation event is on 2 June at 1-2pm and will focus on ‘how are cinemas reconnecting with their communities as they reopen?’

Join the first of a series of discussions designed to create and respond to the need for exchange amongst film exhibitors across the UK .

Join the first FAN Conversation, ‘How are cinemas reconnecting with their communities as they reopen?’ to get fresh insights and reflections from FAN member cinemas that recently reopened their venues to the public.

Bringing together a panel of representatives from independent cinemas from across the UK, this webinar session will be an opportunity to hear about their approaches to, and experience of, reopening, brand and community building, their business and fundraising strategies in response to the current operating context, the in-venue (and hybrid) programming models they’ve developed and how they are welcoming marginalised audiences back to their cinemas through community outreach and audience development.

The session will be chaired by Film Journalist Wendy Ide and include guests Oliver Meek, Executive Director of Rio Cinema, Claire Horrocks, Film Programmer at Exeter Phoenix, Neil Hepburn, Cinema Marketing Manager at Eden Court and Claire Vaughan, Cinema Programme Manager at Chapter Cardiff.

Wendy Ide

Wendy Ide is a film critic and commentator who writes for The Observer, Screen International, The Financial Times and Prospect, among others.



Oliver Meek

Oliver Meek is the Executive Director of the Rio cinema in Dalston and acting Executive Director for the Phoenix in East Finchley. Having started out as an usher at Screen on the Hill, he worked for Riverside Studios and Everyman before Joining the Rio in 2015.


Neil Hepburn

Neil Hepburn is the Marketing Manager for Film & Visual Culture at Eden Court Highlands, Scotland’s largest multi-arts venue. As Scotland’s coordinator for the BFI FAN New Release support scheme, he also helps exhibitors to engage with more diverse audiences.


Claire Horrocks

Claire Horrocks is the Film Programmer at Exeter Phoenix, one of the south west’s leading multi-arts venues. She has been programming independent cinema for 9 years and has run a number of specialised film seasons, touring programmes and annual outdoor screening events.


Claire Vaughan

Claire Vaughan is the Programme Manager at Chapter Cinema, Director at Shift Cardiff R&D artspace, founder of Reframed Film online screenings. She is interested in opening up the world of film to audiences and facilitating cultural conversations.


FAN Conversations will take place via Zoom Webinar, with opportunities for participants to ask questions and share experiences via the chat function.

All sessions will have live captioning. Please do let us know if you have additional access requirements and we will do our best to meet them.


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