The ICO’s Cinema of Ideas is an innovative new platform for amplifying different stories through collaboration, discussion and film.


A series of online events that will run over the next year into 2022 and beyond, the Cinema of Ideas will bring underappreciated strands of film culture and heritage directly to audiences and create a welcoming public forum for vibrant critical discussion on the everyday engagement and experience of films, ideas and audiences.

At its heart, the Cinema of Ideas is a collaborative project. Created in partnership with independent cinemas across the UK, the Cinema of Ideas will provide a virtual additional screen that allows independent cinemas to expand their programme to include films and events that add a critical dimension to their work and connect them with diverse audiences in their communities.

Collaboration is central to the programme which will be enriched by contributions from filmmakers, artists, archivists, film historians, film critics, freelance film collectives and the work of emerging curators. Later in 2021, there will be an Open Call to fund two curatorial voices from underrepresented groups to programme films and discussion events as part of the Cinema of Ideas.

Conversations and specially commissioned writings at Cinema of Ideas will reflect national, transnational and intergenerational concerns and address issues around race, disability, gender, sexuality and class for audiences that have been traditionally underserved by the independent exhibition sector.

About the ICO

The Independent Cinema Office’s mission is to develop an open, challenging and thriving film sector. We are the UK’s national body in support of independent cinemas of all forms. We want everyone to have access to cinema that nourishes the soul and changes lives. To find out more about the ICO’s activities including programming, training, events and more visit our website.

ICO The Cinema of Ideas is presented with the support of the BFI, awarding funds from the National Lottery.