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The Big Screen is Back! Supporting the film industry through tough times

Tayyib spent four months working on No Time To Die, the 25th James Bond film thanks to the National Lottery-funded British Film Institute Future Skills initiative.

The National Lottery

3 min read Partner content

After all the time we have spent in front of our televisions, we’re finally able to get back to experiencing films how they should be: on the big screen.

National Lottery players have the chance to get back to the cinema for free - thanks to The National Lottery Cinema Weekend taking place on 19th and 20th June!

The National Lottery is well known for providing funding for some blockbuster films, including The King’s Speech, Billy Elliott, Gosford Park, and The Last King of Scotland, as well as the recently released Rocks. But its support for the film industry goes much further than that.

Take Tayyib, for example. Tayyib is a Birmingham City University film graduate. He was working as a supermarket porter when he received exciting news about his placement via the National Lottery-funded British Film Institute Future Skills initiative. To say he was shaken was an understatement.

Tayyib spent four months working on No Time To Die, the 25th James Bond film slated for release in September 2021.

He said “I was flabbergasted to be honest - James Bond is one of my dream franchises. But I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement, so I couldn’t even tell my mum the name of the film I was working on.”

One of the aims of the Future Skills initiative is to make sure the film industry’s workforce represents its UK audience. Tayyib acknowledges he has struggled to find role models in the film sector. He said, “The majority of people who work in it are white. It was hard to see a way in at times.”

Another National Lottery-funded BFI project is the BAFTA award-winning 2019 film Rocks.

When filmmaker Sarah Gavron (Suffragette, Brick Lane) set out to make Rocks, a movie about teenage girls living in London, she was determined to use ordinary young women rather than trained actors. And these efforts won the film a BAFTA for best casting.

Not only did Sarah want to capture the authenticity of casting East London youths, she also wanted her ensemble to “believe they could be the filmmakers of the future.”

Sarah says every effort was made to help the young cast deliver authentic performances. She said, “We wanted the scenes to flow and we wanted to keep the energy up. Shooting in real locations made [the cast] feel at ease and we found a team that had backgrounds as close to the kids as possible.”

None of this would be possible without the support of National Lottery players.

Every time someone plays The National Lottery, they help to raise an average of £36million a week for Good Causes, from communities, sports, arts, heritage projects all the way through to the film industry.

To say thank you, The National Lottery is inviting players and a guest to see a film for free at cinemas across the UK on Saturday 19th or Sunday 20th June 2021.

All they need is their National Lottery ticket, scratchcard or Instant Win Game to apply for a pair of over 200,000 adult cinema tickets with over 500 cinemas across the UK taking part.

Find out which venues are participating in your area and how to access the offer here.

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Partner content
Connecting Communities

Connecting Communities is an initiative aimed at empowering and strengthening community ties across the UK. Launched in partnership with The National Lottery, it aims to promote dialogue and support Parliamentarians working to nurture a more connected society.

Find out more