Curated streaming service and theatrical distributor MUBI has created a UK Cinema Fund to help support the exhibition sector across the UK impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The fund has been started with a £10,000 donation from MUBI, and the campaign aims to raise £100,000. The total raised will be donated to the BFI FAN COVID-19 Resilience Fund, which was set up this month by the BFI and its UK-wide BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) to offer critical relief and business continuity to exhibitors across the UK.
Donations will be used to support independent cinemas, film festivals and other organisations whose mission to bring fantastic cinema to audiences across the UK is now impossible due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these small and medium sized businesses are now facing permanent closure. These organisations will range in scale and type but they all share a passion for the best and broadest in UK and world cinema.
To raise awareness of the initiative and drive further support, MUBI has collaborated with cinemas across London to hire their marquees to display a defiant message of solidarity. Cinema partners include the Phoenix Cinema, which was built in 1910, the family-run Genesis Cinema, which has been central to the arts community since the mid-nineteenth century, the Grade II listed Rio Cinema and Catford Mews, which only opened seven months ago and quickly established itself as a key community cinema.
Efe Cakarel, Founder and CEO of MUBI said “Cinemas and their staff are our partners, friends and colleagues. We have been working closely with UK festivals and cinemas for years and have been deeply saddened seeing the impact of the closures. We want to support them in any way we can during this incredibly difficult time, because we can’t imagine a world without them. We hope this fund gives them some of the support they need to reopen as soon as it’s possible.”
Ian Wild, CEO of Showroom Workstation said “In these unprecedented circumstances it is heartening to see MUBI support the independent exhibition sector with this initiative. We hope that the fund reaches its target to help us provide more vital support through the BFI FAN Resilience Fund.”
The fundraising campaign runs until Monday 25 May 2020 and the webpage for the fund is now open to donations from anyone that wants to contribute at gofundme.com/f/dearvirus