Cinema Unbound: The Creative Worlds of Powell and Pressburger

“It’s Heaven, isn’t it?” A Matter of Life and Death (1946)

Dive into the cinematic universe of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, whose creative partnership in the 1940s created some of the most stylistically ambitious, thematically rich, subversive, and sensual British films ever made.

Conceived by the BFI and delivered in partnership with FAN, Cinema Unbound is the greatest celebration yet of this extraordinary duo of filmmakers.

Powell and Pressburger not only transformed British cinema, but the vast, subversive, and seductive creative universes they created has gone on to influence the world of cinema and bled into wider popular culture – allowing for numerous entry points into their work for audiences in line with BFI’s Screen Culture 2033 priorities.

Backed by a UK wide Press and marketing campaign and a central listing platform, the season will have a broad audience appeal.

Your Powell & Pressburger project

We are now inviting cinemas, festivals and multi arts & media organisations to present seasons, events and screenings that celebrate the work of Powell & Pressburger and their influence.

You must be a member of Film Hub Scotland as part of BFI Film Audience Network to access support from this programme. Find out more about joining Film Hub Scotland.

Look at the Creative Brief below for more information about the programme scope and to get some inspiration.

Amounts you can apply for

Menu: Access up to £500 (£125 per film)

Bespoke: Apply for up to £15,000 (average awards likely to be circa £5,000)

Cross-Fan: Apply for up to £15,000

For more information, download the Guidelines below.

Unfortunately, the application process cannot be saved mid-progress, so we have provided Word templates for you to plan your application. Find these in the downloads section below.

Period of activity

The bulk of the season takes place this Autumn (16 Oct – 31 Dec 2023) at BFI Southbank and across FAN.

Note that the menu will be available to book until the end of Feb 2024.

Key dates

  • Cinema Unbound Sprint Event on Thursday 1 June at Watershed in Bristol. Register your interest here and note that travel bursaries are available.
  • Deadline for Bespoke, Cross FAN Proposals (and Menu Expressions of Interest to be included in initial listings announcement) – Friday 30 June 5pm (BST)
  • Decisions made: 24 July 2023
  • After the deadline, the call for Menu applications will be kept open on a rolling basis until Mon 16 Oct 2023.
  • BFI Full Programme announcement: early Sept
  • Period of Activity: Mon 16 Oct – 31 Dec 2023 (except for the Menu which can be booked until 29 Feb 2024.)

Click here to submit your application.