The BFI Film Fund makes changes
This week the BFI Film Fund director Ben Roberts announced significant changes to the fund guidelines, including new approaches to regional talent and a commitment to diversity targets.
The amendments are designed to accommodate the changing production landscape and support the filmmakers who are increasingly producing projects that do not fall into the traditional, linear, feature-length viewing platform.
Roberts laid out several cultural objectives for aiding the early careers of filmmakers, including supporting work with cultural relevance or progressive ideas and an increase in the number of active projects originated by filmmakers outside London and the south-east.
From April 2018, the start of the new BFI funding year, the following targets - spread across the organisation’s talent development work, development funding and production funding - will be formally in place:
A 50-50 gender balance in supported filmmakers, a 20% target for BAME filmmakers, a 9% target for LGBTQ-identifying filmmakers, a 7% target for filmmakers with a disability and UK-wide support.
Early 2018 will see the recruitment by the Film Audience Network (FAN) of six full-time talent development executives.
The roles will be taken up across England and the successful candidates will work closely with the BFI Film Fund and the continuing talent development teams in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The aim is to discover, nurture and fund new talent.
Relaxation of guidelines
There will be a relaxation of guidelines in terms of the running length of projects supported with the minimum requirement reduced from 69 minutes to 60 minutes.
Roberts clarified this could mean there would be support for shorter work, work in chapters or longer works. All kinds of works will be considered including factual and more immersive projects.
Theatrical restrictions surrounding distribution are also being removed with the guidelines being relaxed in terms of commercial attachments. The aim is to support early and risky work that wouldn’t otherwise have an obvious route to theatrical distribution.
The Film Fund’s production guidelines are also being reformed and will be published later this month.
A full-financing model will be established for debut and lower-budget films; all producers will still be encouraged to secure other finance for their projects.
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