Newcastle cinema in spotlight for network workshop

Newcastle cinema in spotlight for network workshop

8 May 2024

A RECENT workshop which shone a light on developing and delivering more independent cinema across the area has been hailed a success.

Film Hub NI (FHNI) hosted the free networking event at Newcastle Community Cinema.

Representatives from the Down 

Arts Centre, Dundrum’s Creative Village, Rostrevor Aurora Cinema, the Light Theatre Company, Moneydarragh Hub, Newcastle Community Cinema, Core Collective/Made in Mourne, Atomictv and the newly formed Rath Cinema Club from Rathfriland were keen to explore what the Spotlight programme could do for their organisations.

This was the first workshop session which FHNI hosted as part of the British Film Institute Spotlight programme in conjunction with Newcastle Community Cinema to develop and deliver more independent cinema across the Newry and Mourne area over the next three years.

FHNI Spotlight facilitator, Rob Manley, said he was “absolutely delighted” with the turnout for the workshop, which welcomed participants from all aspects of community life with a love of films for our day of networking and free training.

Hugh Odling-Smee and Sara Gunn-Smith from FHNI joined Rob to provide an insight into cinema exhibition 

and what the Spotlight programme can provide in way of support and mentoring.

In addition, the event detailed available financial assistance over the next three years for local communities interested in showing films in their local areas, along with the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals interested in developing cinema exhibition across the district.

“Following an informal networking lunch, the team ran through the basics of film screenings including information on licensing, technical requirements, event management and audience development,” Rob added.


Hugh Odling-Smee, who manages Film Hub NI, explained the Spotlight programme offers film lovers the opportunity to be part of the organisation which is free to set up a community cinema to screen films they love in their own communities.  

“We have 60 local film hub members in Northern Ireland and hope through this Spotlight programme to encourage more people in the Newry and Mourne area to engage with us and attract new audiences for independent cinema,” he added.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the Spotlight programme and screening films in the are should contact Rob at