A quick skip through some commonly-asked questions. For more detailed information, see our Start a festival section.
How did Free Film Festivals start?
In 2010, a few people got together and decided to hold a film festival in Peckham and Nunhead, south east London. Other areas decided to start their own festival – first New Cross & Deptford, then Camberwell, then Herne Hill, and it sort of went from there.
Who organises the festivals?
Each festival is run by a small group of local people. Everyone is a volunteer.
How do new festivals start?
Generally with one or two people wanting to make it happen. Word gets around and other people want to get involved too, and it builds from there.
Can anyone start one?
Yes, absolutely. Most of the festivals so far have taken place in London, but we think they could work in any urban or rural community, anywhere.
What makes people want to do it?
Generally because they like where they live, and like film, and want to bring people together from the area to share a great event. It’s as much about community as film.
Are all festivals the same?
Each festival has its own character and people can screen whatever films and in whatever venues they like. Everyone uses this website, so that people can find out about all Free Film Festivals in one place.
Because it means as many people as possible can come together to enjoy the events.
Where does funding come from?
Each festival raises its own funds by seeking small council grants, for example, finding sponsors or having collections after the screenings. There’s more about this in our Start a festival section.
What does it cost to put a festival on?
A typical budget is around £1,000 to £4,000. The main costs are licences to screen the films and publicity materials. See our Start a festival section for more detail.
Where are films screened?
Pubs, community centres, cafes, bars, libraries, shops and schools, for example, as well as outdoor venues like parks. Unusual venues have included a car park roof and even a cemetery. Read our blog post about venues.
What sort of films?
From small independent films to Hollywood blockbusters, from British and foreign language films, to new films made by local people. Events are sometimes themed to venues but each festival is free to develop its own programme. There are no rules.
Will the movement grow?
Whatever happens will happen organically. It really depends on whether other people want to Start a festival in their area.
Thanks for reading!