Local Film Festival Fund Evaluation: Brief for a Freelance Contract
RSS is the national agency responsible for developing access to the cinema experience in remote, rural, and under-provided communities throughout Scotland; we aim to provide a focused and active network for our customers and partners, and to excel in information-gathering, advocacy and the provision of support in our area of expertise.
We believe the best way to enjoy film as a cultural medium is in a cinema environment and this is borne out by the demand RSS experiences for support in establishing community cinemas and by the demand for the Screen Machine – the mobile cinema serving over 35 locations in the Highlands and Islands. RSS is part of a group of cultural cinema providers – the others serving the major conurbations. RSS is unique in concerning itself with the gaps in provision – in both rural and urban areas – and as such has a unique over-view of the status of cinema exhibition across Scotland.
RSS works with partners at all levels of strategic and operational development across the cinema exhibition sector in Scotland and the UK and is a member of the consortium Scottish Film – comprising Regional Screen Scotland, Centre for the Moving Image, Glasgow Film, Dundee Contemporary Arts and Eden Court Inverness – which oversees two major projects: Scottish Film Education, and (as part of the BFI’s Film Audience Network) Film Hub Scotland.
The Local Film Festival Fund
In the autumn of 2013 RSS agreed funding from Creative Scotland’s Sector Development Fund to set up and manage a three year Local Film Festivals Fund, including devolved grant aid which would support:
- the design and management of a Development Programme for 5 festivals over 3 years
- the management of an Open Access fund valued at £20,000 per annum for 3 years awarding up to £3,000 per annum to eligible festivals
The Creative Scotland funding was provided in three annual tranches: £75,000, £87,500 and £100,000. This three year programme followed on from earlier schemes managed by RSS which provided support for film festivals through devolved funding.
The work on the programme did not start until April 2014, so it was accepted that the full programme would be delivered over the financial years 2014-15, 15-16 and 16-17.
Funding was also contributed by Film Hub Scotland at the level of £16,000 per annum.
The LFFF was designed to build on the work of a shorter term initiative that RSS managed prior to 2014.
The key areas of desired influence were:
- audience development – will audiences increase or be developed in the particular festival’s area?
- programme diversity – will taste and habit be challenged and enhanced?
- cinema infrastructure – will skills and resources be enhanced, ultimately, as a result of holding the festival?
In order to best serve festivals at different stages of development, the fund was divided in to two sections.
The LFF Development Programme was designed to support and develop five selected festivals chosen using criteria of:
- geographical coverage
- festivals of a varied / different nature
- existing festivals with potential to become sustainable
- developing the infrastructure for cinema exhibition
– this consisting of
- developing skills and experience in a community
- developing infrastructure in terms of venues and equipment
- serving and developing audiences in their community / area
- enabling more non-mainstream programming
The plan has been to fund the selected festivals for three years with an incremental investment of £10,000, £12.500 and £15,000 per annum. Applications were received from NINE existing festivals, and the five selected for the programme were:
South West Picture Show (Dumfries and Galloway)
The LFF Open Access Fund was designed to offer one off grants of a maximum of £3000 each to film festivals showing promise or satisfying mostly the same criteria as the LFFDP, except these could be new initiatives and touring activity was also included in the first year but support for tours was reduced as Creative Scotland’s funding structure changed and could accommodate these. The Fund is due to close at the end of November 2016, and to date over the three years 29 applications have been received and 21 awards have been made to 18 separate festivals.
Key tasks of the Evaluation
- A review of key data on the activities and outcomes of the five Development Programme festivals, and whether these differed from the original proposals.
- A review of key data on the activities and outcomes of a sample of those festivals funded through the Open Access programme
- In the light of these findings, an assessment of the outcomes of the overall LFFF programme against the stated objectives.
- An overall assessment of the impact of Creative Scotland’s investment.
- Semi-structured phone interviews (or in person if/where possible) with all 5 development festivals; with all or most of those festivals funded more than once, with a sample of those only funded once, and with key stakeholders, such as Creative Scotland and Film Hub Scotland. Not more than 15 interviews in all.
- Review of available data (applications, reports, statistics and evaluations received) in the light of strategic documents—e.g. Creative Scotland’s Film Strategy, Screen Sector Leadership Group Exhibitions recommendations, etc.
- A ‘self-evaluation’ short survey to all funding recipients
Proposal Submission Requirements
This should be an electronic document of not more than four A4 pages, covering the following key areas
- Suggested approach to undertaking the project
- Details of who would be working on the project
- Breakdown of the required number of days’ work and the daily rate
- Fee for work on the project, including expenses and VAT
- Contact details for one referee who is familiar with your work in a comparable field.
Your submission should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by 17.00 on Friday 25th November 2016.
Timetable and Structure
Contract to be issued, and initial briefing meeting to be held, in December 2016, and the work to be undertaken between January and March 2017, with the final report submitted by 31 March. It is anticipated that the draft report will be presented to a meeting including representatives of festivals supported by both the Development and Open Access Programmes.
The contract will be managed by Robert Livingston as CEO of RSS (email@example.com ) and the operational contact will be Ginnie Atkinson, Manager of the LFFF (firstname.lastname@example.org )
This is a time-critical, focused piece of work, so the ability to begin quickly and to have the capacity to work intensively to meet our deadlines is paramount. In addition, you will need:
- Strong project management skills developed through demonstrable, relevant experience
- Highly-developed networking skills and the ability to forge a wide range of relationships quickly
- The skills necessary to facilitate discussion and generate ideas and solutions with relevant stakeholders
- Relevant experience of working with Scottish-based arts organisations
- Knowledge of the Film Exhibition sector (although not essential) would be advantageous
- Contract & Payment Details
There will be a fixed fee for the completion of this work of £5,000 inclusive of all expenses, and of VAT if applicable. You will be paid 50% of the fee at the start of the commission, and the remaining 50% on completion and submission of the evaluation report. Your proposed budget should include VAT (where appropriate) as well as travelling and other expenses directly incurred as a result of this project and should indicate the daily rate(s) and time allocation.