Diversity big part of BFI plan

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them The BFI has announced a five-year strategy for UK film which includes an investment of nearly £500m to support film education, skills development and film funding with diversity high on the agenda. 

BFI2022 was launched today at an event in Birmingham by BFI chair Josh Berger and CEO Amanda Nevill. The scheme, which will take effect next year, aims to consolidate the progress made by Film Forever, which has been running for the past five years.  

By continuing the basic tenets already in place to create and support a dynamic national film culture, BFI2022 will strive to ensure that independent film is nurtured and enjoyed as part of a diverse domestic film production industry, which will be equipped to handle the fast-changing nature of the sector. 

The strategic plan also includes some fresh approaches to funding film content which may not be for cinematic release. There will also be a drive to focus on the nations and regions by directing funding outside the capital, specifically to shift 25% of all BFI production funding to decision-makers based outside London by 2022. 

With diversity very much in mind, the five-year programme will implement a major new skills strategy with Creative Skillset and set a goal that all UK film productions should be encouraged to voluntarily adopt the BFI Diversity Standards. 

The financial investment of nearly £500m comes from government grant-in-aid, BFI earned income and National Lottery funding. 

Nevill said of the launch: “There is one word at the heart of this strategy: future. We will be supporting filmmakers so they are free to experiment and innovate for the future of the medium, opening doors to a future that includes greater opportunities for a diverse generation of individuals to find their voice in the industry; expanding the circle of decision-makers so that the energy behind the current success of film radiates across the whole of the UK.”

Matt Hancock, minister for digital and culture, emphasised the importance of the creative industries to the UK economy, contributing “a staggering £84bn a year”. 

Growth in the UK’s screen industries is way ahead of many other sectors in the UK with film and TV production having grown by more than 16% in the third quarter of 2016 as opposed to a 0.5% growth rate of the economy as a whole. 

Full details of BFI2022 are available here.  


Photo via Warner Bros. 


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