Article: Film Hub Scotland and The Skinny launch Indie Cinema Guide to boost independent cinemas across Scotland

Film Hub Scotland and the Skinny have launched the Indie Cinema Guide, a publication to drive new audiences to independent cinemas across Scotland.

The free guide will highlight 19 unmissable independent films due out this Spring and Summer, and seven Scottish independent cinemas, film theatres and multi-arts venues to view them at.

To attract audiences who have fallen out of the habit, or may not have considered visiting their local independent cinema, 7,000 copies of the guide will be distributed to arts, culture and hospitality venues across Scotland.

Spotlighting independent films released between April and June, the guide features an interview with Hlynur Pálmason, the director of Godland, and Nida Manzoor, the director of Polite Society, which had its UK premiere at Glasgow Film Festival. 

Unmissable upcoming releases  including the highly-anticipated Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City and One Fine Day, which features a magnetic performance from Léa Seydoux – are highlighted alongside re-releases Raging Bull and Scottish classic, Local Hero.

Despite a positive upward trend of audiences returning to the cinema since the pandemic (cinema admissions across the UK and Ireland reached 128m in 2022, a 62% increase on the previous year), this is not consistent for Scotland’s independent venues which now face greater challenges due to the cost-of-living crisis and increasing operating costs.

Evidence suggests that low-audience figures for independent venues is, in part, due to audiences not knowing what films are available, and where they can watch them. 

The project, supported by Film Hub Scotland, who represent over 230 Scottish exhibitors as part of the BFI Film Audience Network, aims to increase this awareness of independent films and where they are shown.

Venues featured within The Guide include Macrobert Arts Centre in Stirling, Dundee Contemporary Arts and the Hippodrome in Bo’ness. To incentivise attendees, each featured-venue has offered a voucher, such as 2-for-1 tickets or money-off accompanying food and drink.

The publication will be marked with a launch event in Edinburgh on Thursday 30 March. 

The Guide can be viewed online here

Nicola Kettlewood, Manager, Film Hub Scotland, says: “While there are signs of recovery, we know that independent cinemas are struggling to draw audiences in the same numbers as pre-pandemic. We also know that the host of brilliant films being released this Spring and Summer deserve to be enjoyed in a cinema. The Indie Cinema Guide will let people know about the special venues on their doorstep and the unmissable cinema experiences that they can have there.”

Paul Gallagher, Programme Manager, Glasgow Film Theatre, says: “Despite the positive figures from this year’s Glasgow Film Festival (an increase in attendees of 25% on 2022) this trend isn’t consistent across Scotland’s independent film venues. Indie cinemas are special places, as are the films they feature. Many of the films this Guide is highlighting will only be found by film lovers bold enough to venture through the doors of their local indie cinema. Once across that threshold they will discover a world of amazing films, and never want to leave! It will be great to see that message spread as far and wide as possible through the Indie Cinema Guide.”

Jamie Dunn, Film Editor, The Skinny says: “We’re thrilled to have collaborated with Film Hub Scotland on this new Scottish publication celebrating Scottish independent cinemas and the films they show. It’s become increasingly clear that the Scottish film exhibition ecosystem is incredibly fragile and we hope this guide will help tempt audiences old and new back to the vital independent cinemas across Scotland and shine a light on the variety of innovative, thought-provoking and wildly entertaining films that will be coming to their screens in the coming months.”

+ The Skinny

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