Our mission

CAN is a digital services network that specialises in film, culture and the arts. We help you unleash the full potential of digital technologies in your organisation.

We want arts venues to deliver their mission more effectively while extending it into new areas. We offer arts-focused IT expertise at affordable rates. CAN's digital services deliver greater operating efficiency and result in the following outcomes for clients:

  • Lower costs
  • Ability to redeploy staff to public-facing projects
  • Greater resilience in the face of problems
  • Ability to respond to market demands more quickly
  • A more 'future proof' digital infrastructure.

Our values

Broad participation in the arts is vital to a healthy society. Art builds identity, and it creates an environment that encourages personal growth and professional opportunity.

Access is now a key issue confronting the cultural sector. CAN’s digital technologies can help arts organisations attract more diverse audiences.

There is a significant lack of diversity in the UK arts in audiences, programming and workforce.

Peter Bazalgette, Chair of Arts Council England, December 2014

In a major policy shift, the Chair of Arts Council of England stated that cultural organisations will lose funding if they do not actively and successfully engage with black and minority ethnic groups, people with disabilities, and disadvantaged social classes.

Lack of diversity in commissioning, leadership and attendance means that art organisations do not reflect the UK’s diverse population. Groups that are actively or passively excluded from the arts are generally disadvantaged, and non-participation in the arts reinforces the disadvantaged position.

Cinema Arts Network can play a key role in helping members engage with a more diverse range of artists, audiences and cultural leaders. Technology can efficiently distribute cultural experiences to audiences, and it can be used to adapt cultural offers to community and individual needs. It can measure engagement by reporting the reach, quality and depth of interest in specific programmes.

Under the recent directive from ACE, arts organisations are looking for new and innovative ways to address the issues of diversity in audiences and engaging with less advantaged communities. Cinema Arts Network can provide arts organisations with powerful tools to help them build social inclusion into their activities.

Our expertise

We build your digital capacity through planning, installation and technology management. As the creators of the UK's Digital network for the arts, a consortium of leading cultural venues, we advocate the development of sector-wide standards for information technology and artistic commissioning.

We are uniquely placed to deliver your organisational needs because we were born from the arts. We marry technical knowledge with an understanding of how the cultural sector functions. Like your own IT department CAN will save you money, identify digital opportunities, open new revenue streams, ensure hassle-free IT management, provide shared technology standards and unlock your digital potential.

Our process leads to increased engagement with your audience, both on and offline.

Who we are

CAN staff are committed to supporting culture and creative enterprise through digital infrastructure. CEO Ali Hossaini has managed leading edge technology while working with global artistic talent, and the company includes veterans of a variety of creative organisations.

This experience means we understand the needs of your venue, and we are passionate about delivering solutions to meet those needs.

Founded by Arts Council England, the UK Film Council and British Film Institute, the company is owned by 16 of the UK's leading arts organisations. Per its corporate mission, it operates for the benefit of film and the arts.


It's a pleasure to work with them as they are very professional and they try to make the process as easy as possible. All in all, it has been great to work with CAN.

- Marjolein den Bakker, Cinema of Childhood Project Manager, Filmhouse Cinema

CAN have shown enthusiasm, great service, and consistent willingness to help across a range of projects. What's striking about this is that the support they provide has been useful across so many of our business needs: intercity admin connectivity between our two cinemas; technical support for streaming live content from Edinburgh; support for our DCP encoding business; and support for our distribution and nationwide programming projects.

- James Rice, Programme Manager, Filmhouse Cinema and Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Through their shared understanding of audiences and aims, CAN provided invaluable support for the project, taking trailers for the challenge, as well as the winning and shortlisted films, converting them into appropriate file formats, sharing them across their network, and promoting the content and the challenge to venues around the UK. This invaluable support allowed 9.88 Films to reach audiences in each of the four UK nations.

- Jennifer Armitage, Development Officer, Creative Scotland

Contact us

CAN are based in the heart of Media City in Manchester.

For more information about any of our services please send an email to info@cinema-arts.net

Call us on +44 (0) 161 821 1213

You may also write to us at:

Cinema Arts Network
c/o Pod 52
The Greenhouse
Media City UK
M50 2EQ

We look forward to hearing from you.