Brighton’s Oska Bright Film Festivalthe world’s leading festival for films made by or featuring people with learning disabilities or autism, has issued Welcoming Learning Disabled Audiences Back, a free resource for the cinema sector as part of its wider Welcome Back support programme.

The festival, which has existed since 2004, has a remit to ensure that learning disabled audiences are able to access cinema easily and that cinemas are prepared and resourced to welcome them. The festival also strives to ensure that learning disabled people have opportunities for work experience in the cinema sector and that learning disabled filmmakers’ work be incorporated more widely into cinema programmes.

Since 2020, the Oska Bright team has been lobbying the sector and providing support to cinemas to enable this audience to be part of the industry’s plans for recovery, rather than being accidentally excluded as cinemas work hard to reach pre-pandemic audience levels.

This new resource, available to download for free from today, is titled Welcoming Learning Disabled Audiences Back. It is a short information pack which includes insights into the needs of learning disabled audiences and tips on welcoming them into cinemas.

The pack complements Oska Bright’s existing support programme Welcome Back, with which to date it has partnered with five cinema exhibitors across the UK.

It includes information on the Festival’s new Welcome Back support network, which has just been launched in partnership with Picturehouse, Into Film, Leeds’ Hyde Park Picture House, Glasgow Film, London’s Barbican, Manchester’s HOME and The Light Cinemas. The support network is a regular forum created to discuss sector-wide and venue-to-venue access for learning disabled audiences.

Welcoming Learning Disabled Audiences Back was created in partnership with cinema exhibition and distribution consultants Tull Stories.

Lizzie Banks, Deputy Artistic Director, Carousel said:

“We’re really excited to be able to share this pack with the sector. Learning disabled and autistic audiences are essential to the future of cinema. With our partners, we’ll be working to reconnect these audiences with screens across the UK, contributing to a rich and diverse sector.”

To download the free resource Welcoming Learning Disabled Audiences Back or for information on the Welcome Back training programme or support network please visit

If you would like to be part of the Welcome Back initiative, please contact Lizzie Banks at

Carousel is an Arts Council England NPO and receives funding from BFI’s Audience Fund.

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