Screening Film


Scalarama: Exhibitor’s Guide



Everything you need to know about taking part in Scalarama


By taking part in Scalarama, you’ll be able to:

  • Book a wide range of films for reduced terms
  • Get your event listed in nationally-focused publicity
  • Join regional groups to collaborate, organise and produce joint flyers
  • Use the Scalarama brand to engage new audiences
  • Get copies of the Scalarama newspaper


All of the above is free.  There aren’t any application costs or rules.

We want Scalarama to be as open and accessible as possible, so everyone and anyone is invited.

All we ask is you make it special / make an effort / take a risk / adventurous programming / make an event out of it etc…


1. Meet up with a regional group

Around the UK, Scalarama encourages each major city or region to group together and meet up.  This is a great way to meet other exhibitors, chat and discuss ideas or possible collaborations.  For Scalarama, it’s useful to make sure different events don’t clash dates, and there is also a budget for flyers, so regional groups can produce their own regional flyers – like these from last year…


Groups can be contacted via the Scalarama Google Groups which we encourage all those interested in putting events on to join.

Or if there isn’t a group near you, why not start your own?  Drop the Scalarama team a line and they’ll help connect you with other exhibitors to organise a meetup or put you in touch with your local BFI Film Audience Network Hub for more information.


2.  Check out the core themes and open programme

The Core Themes is a range of ideas and film titles that form the focus of this year’s season, to help audiences understand what sort of films the season is about, and to work with distributors to promote certain titles in exchange for reduced rates.  All these core themes will be written about in the Scalarama newspaper and online.


The majority of the season is formed from the open programme where the choice is completely up to the exhibitors. The Scalarama team work with a range of distributors to help reduced terms for screenings in September as part of Scalarama.  There will be less marketing and promotion of these titles, but this is still a great option to screen a title without the financial risk.


Alternatively, you can put on any other film.  This is how Scalarama started, with everyone showing what they wanted, and we still want to see a wide range of films included in the season, so if you’ve already programmed something that you think is going to work under this remit, feel free to submit that as well. We have put together some FAQs to help you with your programming. (see below)


3. Come up with your event

Scalarama is about celebrating and championing cinema, in all its forms.  It doesn’t matter what venue you’re screening in, what’s important is creating a great event.  Cinema is not just about putting a film on and selling tickets – it’s about everything that goes into making the screening: the audience, the venue, the programming and the extras like introductions, guest speakers, shorts, trailers, handouts, Q&A’s, discussions, music and decoration to name just a few elements.  So for September, make an extra effort, whether that’s programming a riskier title, or adding some extra value to the event.  We’re not saying every screening should be a party – if you’re showing a classic title, why not try and get a writer who’s written about the film your showing to come and introduce it?


If you want to show Back to the Future or the latest Hollywood Blockbuster then that’s fine too, but make sure you create an event out of it.  They’ll have already been screened lots of times, so why should someone come to your event to watch it?


If you want to take part, but haven’t put on a screening before and don’t know how to go about it, check out our “I Want to Be a Cinema” page for more information.


And if you’re struggling for inspiration – check out all these ‘Declarations’ from 36 different exhibitors about who they are and why they put on film screenings – this was something we did as part of Scala Beyond in 2012.  We’re doing similar this year with our ‘Vote Cinema’ campaign.


4. Book your film

For any title in the core themes or open programme, use the contact details displayed by each title to book your chosen film with the distributor as normal. For further help with rights clearances, check out the I Want to Be a Cinema section.


5. Submit listing

Once you’ve decided what you’re going to put on or include in the season, just complete the submission form on this Scalarama website. If you already have an account with you can use those details to log in. If you don’t, simply register on the Scalarama website and then follow the process and then submit your event. You can save and edit your event at any time

The website will be open for submissions all the way through the season, but to be guaranteed to be featured in the Scalarama newspaper you must submit your event online by 13th July. This is also the date when all events submitted so far to Scalarama 2015 will be displayed on the website’s map and listings directory on

6. Market your event

Tell everyone about the film and your organisation.

The Open Themes and Core Programme titles are there to benefit both exhibitors and distributors in a you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours kind of way!  For the Distributors, they hope to get lots of people seeing and talking about their films, which is why they’re letting everyone screen them for reduced rates.  If there isn’t much press, marketing or social media about the films, then they’ll be less likely to offer films next year, so do make sure to mention the distributors and film and encourage all your audiences to talk about them too.

As we’ve said before, there aren’t any rules or contracts – you don’t have to promote the titles, or use the Scalarama branding if you don’t want to.


From the 13th July, the website will list all the hundreds of screenings and events taking place all over the country.  Users will be able to filter results so that they can see what’s happening in their area, or select the type of events they’re most interested in.  With all the marketing and publicity we expect thousands of people will be checking out the website and discovering all the different types of screenings going on.


We’ll also be doing as much national press and marketing as we can – feel free to share and link to this to engage your audience.


Regional marketing…


The marketing from the Scala Beyond team shouldn’t replace your regular marketing and audience development, but by being part of a much larger group there’ll be more opportunities for wider coverage.


  1. Get feedback (and promote films / event?)



Gather marketing for any core programme screenings, get audience feedback (and sign them up for your future events…)


Key Dates

25th May – 100 Days to Go!  Core and Open Programmes Announced.  Website open for submissions.

13th July – 50 Days to Go!   Print deadline for Scalarama newspaper articles and listings.
1st August – Press Launches, newspapers distributed.

1st September – Scalarama starts!

30th September – Home Cinema Day


Questions, Questions…

  • What sort of films should I show?

Entirely up to you.  We’re not specifying anything to do with the actual films.  All we’re asking is that you think about the context and everything about the screening to make it special.


  • Is there anything that isn’t allowed?

No.  We’re open to all ideas.  And it doesn’t matter whether you screen from 35mm, 16mm, Blu-Ray, DVD, VHS etc.


  • Does the film have to have shown at the Scala Cinema?

No. Whilst we paid tribute to the innovative programming of the Scala last year, this time we want to shine a spotlight on the innovative programming that takes place around the country on a continuous basis. Whilst you can still pay tribute to the Scala’s wide range of programming if you want to, we’d prefer to find out what inspires you now and what you programme regularly.


  • I don’t know what to do for my Declaration!

Check out our manifesto and links to some of the Declarations on the Scala Beyond website.  We just asked ourselves, why do we do what we’re doing?  What drives us to keep doing it?  Why do we like it?  But also, how do we want so show this declaration? If you are part of an organisation, your team could work together to create a joint declaration.


  • How many events can I include?

Whilst there’s no limitation on how many events you can include,  each one should be a special screening with a lot of thought given to the night to best represent your cinema / film club / society / festival.


  • What if I want to do something different from my normal events? Can I suggest an event or theme of programming to you?

Of course! We are always happy to discuss larger ideas – contact us at We will happily pass on your programming ideas to the rest of the exhibitors to see if anyone else would like to get involved either locally or nationally.


  • Who else will be taking part?

Last year in London we had 32 venues and film clubs including everyone from venues including BFI Southbank, Prince Charles Cinema, Riverside Studios, Rio Cinema and ICA through to filmclubs like Filmbar70, Cigarette Burns Cinema and Midnight Movies, plus events like Frightfest and the Nomad Travelling Cinema. We will be celebrating every exhibitor, venue and film club – whether you’re big or small, everyone is equal in Scala Beyond.


  • What about others in my area?

The idea of the season is to raise the profile of everyone involved. If there are other venues, clubs etc. in your area, why not see if they want to get involved too? Perhaps you could do some cross-marketing to help each other’s event via mailing lists. We have various Regional Partners who will be a point of contact for any other questions, but also will be working to get a group together in their area for potential events.


  • What if I want to do an event in partnership with someone else?

Great!  Partnerships are often a good way of reaching a wider audience and putting on a better event, so we’re more than happy for partnerships.  On the submission form you’ll see space where you can list all the different partners involved.


  • Do I need to put on a special event?

That depends on what you mean by special.  We want all the events in the season to be well thought out in terms of the programming, the context, the venue etc. and to really represent the best of your night / club / society etc.  Ideally all the screenings and events in Scalarama should reflect the sort of nights that your cinema / film club / society / festival puts on regularly throughout the year.


  • How do I get my listing in my newspaper? How do I get my event on a regional flyer?

All events submitted via the Scalarama website before 13th July will be included in the newspaper. For the regional flyers, local partner will also be selecting the highlights for their flyer. We cannot guarantee inclusion on the flyer for all submitted events but we will try to include as many as possible. Get in touch with your regional coordinators via the Scalarama Google Group.


  • Will you do all my promotion for me?

The aim of the season is to promote all the independent and rep cinema screenings around the country, but the idea is that all the Scalarama marketing and promotions are in addition to what you normally do.  We hope that you’ll be able to use the inclusion of your night(s) in the season to get even more publicity, or perhaps you could get together with venues in your area also taking part to get local press interested.


  • Do we have to pay you?  Are there any costs involved?

No.  There are no costs or expenses for being involved in Scalarama. You run your night as you normally do, paying for screening rights, costs and expenses, and sell tickets as you normally would. Scalarama cannot guarantee an audience for you, but will hopefully make it easier for you to reach out to find one.


  • Do I need to include the Scalarama logo? Show the trailer?

Of course we would love you to include our logo and show the season trailer but we understand sometimes it’s not possible to do so. We will make both available to everyone involved.



If there are any other questions that aren’t answered here and that you want to know about or discuss, just drop us an email to


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