Brit film org shutters exhib arm

Arthouses, film societies now fear for their survival

LONDON — The British Film Institute has confirmed that it is closing its exhibition department, which provides programming services to around 160 arthouse screens, amid cuts forced by budget overspending in the past financial year.

The news has been greeted with dismay by regional arthouse owners and film societies, who fear for their survival without the support of the BFI’s Cinema Services department.

The Film Council, which funds the BFI, is taking over responsibility for the BFI’s exhibition functions. It will give the U.K.’s regional screen agencies coin to employ their own programmers.

But the closure means the end for the org’s collaboration with multiplex chains such as Odeon, Warner Village and UCI, under which the BFI programmed selected screens on those circuits with arthouse fare.

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