Case Study: Playing to the strength of community

PIN CUSHION, the debut feature from Deborah Haywood, performed to sell-out audiences in its home county of Derbyshire, thanks to a strong regional campaign and local support.

  • #PinCushion

Film Hubs

Impact Areas

Focus Areas

Project aims

  • Utilising a Midlands based Outreach Manager / Producer of Marketing and Distribution to work on crossover titles that are playing in multiple venues working to produce events, campaigns and engage local communities in the titles that are identified as having the potential to engage our priority audiences.

  • Creating exciting and community based moments around film, and in particular outside of established independent venues.


  • Outsold Mission Impossible: Fallout at an ODEON cinema in Swadlincote, Derbyshire.



Key partnerships

Odeon Swadlincote
Pinpoint (with partner Munroe Films)
BBC Derbyshire, University of Derby

Budget in brief

£15,000 is attributed to supporting this approach for regional marketing for the entire year, across several films.

What worked

  • Extensive press coverage of PIN CUSHION at a local and hyperlocal level.

  • Preview screenings for the film.

  • Engagement with talent at a close level.

What has been difficult

  • Working on a short time frame has provided challenges at a press and buy-in level from local business

  • Engaging with audiences and venues across the wider region, without the local tie-in

What you would do differently if you did it again

  • Have a longer runway for support - begin as early as possible to plan, build, and execute

  • Support more venues to book the film throughout Derbyshire – a local angle can moverncounty-wide quite easily

  • It is always desirable to work closer and be better integrated with the distributor, but we alsornneed to be realistic about capacity, roles, incentive, and responsibility on both ends

Awareness / Attitudes

Pin Cushion is portrait of mental illness and extensive bullying.

“The director’s debut feature film is a dark fairytale that deals with bullying and social isolation, as experienced by teenage girls – and their mothers.” – BFI


The project centres on a female led film, about women, written and directed by a woman, as a debut project. This takes place in a working class community and an area of deprivation– Swadlincote in Derbyshire.

Social Cohesion

The project centres on community, identity, and belonging to an area. Many audiences were watching a film from inside the very community, but being introduced to new aspects and points of view from within it.


Cinema attendance has a unique strong positive effect on happiness, and negative effects on anxiety and depression, even when controlling for various socio-demographic and economic factors, it is overall an enriching artform.


A month after release distributors Pinpoint confirmed that total Box Office had reached £41k, with Swadlincote Odeon the number one performing venue, breathing new British based value into the cinema and night-time economy of Derbyshire.

What audiences said

  • "I went to see this with the wife as was filmed locally and honestly didn't expect such an original, amazing work of art. Not an empty seat in the house and the quietest I've ever known a cinema as everyone was glued emotionally. Highly recommended."

  • "Heard a lot about this film so had to go and watch it and it seems it was filmed in my home town! Such a real storyline that more people need to talk about. I hope this film goes far and wide! And that people learn from it!"

What professionals, press and partners said

  • "We are really excited to be able to offer guests at ODEON Swadlincote the chance to see Pin Cushion - the critically acclaimed independent film that was shot in the local area. We’ve already had several sell-out screenings of this incredibly popular film at our Swadlincote cinema, and look forward to welcoming more guests through our doors in the coming weeks!" Odeon Swadlincote

  • "I really can't believe it outsold Mission Impossible! Everyone has been great and loving it and really getting behind it. At first I'm sure they went to see Swad itself, or to see our Swad extras on the big screen, but everyone seems to have really loved the film too. Word of mouth is really strong and people have been getting turned away. I've been introducing the film all this past week and audiences have been so warm and friendly and really engaged during our Q+As, too. It really means a lot to me that the film has been so embraced and it's been such a boost to Swadlincote people, especially because the majority don't seem to be typical cinema-goers." Deborah Haywood, director

Press coverage

  • "It was originally given a three-day run at the Odeon, in The Pipeworks retail park, Swadlincote, because it was not a mainstream film but had been shot in the town.rnHowever, its success meant three days turned into six weeks thanks to the word of mouth of local residents."