Today sees the launch of a four-week consultation surrounding the BFI’s proposals for the future of British film, which have been outlined in its five-year Future Plan for Film: 2012-2017 New Horizons for UK Film.
With the increase in Lottery funding for UK film, this draft plan outlines how the BFI proposes to invest the expected total of £273m, with an average Lottery investment of £57m for film per year. This breaks down into an average annual investment of £17m for Education and Audiences; £28.2m for the support of British film; £3m for Film Heritage; £1m for Research and Statistics; a £3m contingency and an 8 per cent cost of delivery.
The BFI’s plans for the future come a year after it became the UK’s lead organisation for film and is a response to Lord Smith’s independent Film Policy Review which was published in January. They are broken down into three key sectors:
Education and Audience
Thehe BFI aims to ensure that every child in the UK aged between five and 19 is educated in film and filmmaking, and wishes to establish a UK-wide film academy to nurture future talent throughout all regions of the country. The proposals also outline the setting up of a national network of virtual and physical film hubs that will link schools, film societies, archives and community cinemas, as well as the installation of digital equipment in up to 1,000 community centres, village halls and other non-theatrical locations throughout the UK.
There is also proposed financial support for UK cinemas to access a wider range of films, so broadening audience choice outside of London, as well as a new fund to support the UK’s international film festivals and initiatives to encourage more people to watch British film on digital platforms including apps and VoD.
Supporting The Future of British Film
The proposals outline a 30 per cent increase in production and development funds for British films over five years, including an emphasis on under-represented genres such as animation, comedy, documentary and international co-productions, as well as the launching of new talent development centres for UK writers, directors and producers. There is also an emphasis on new film training schemes, which will teach the UK’s industry workforce next generation skills including special effects and digital production.
The BFI also hopes to bring together partners including The British Film Commission, BBC Worldwide, The British Council, Film Export UK and BAFTA to work collaboratively to ensure and strengthen the UK’s position in the global film market.
The BFI sees the UK’s film heritage as essential to the enduring success of British film, and aims to work in partnership to digitise 10,000 British film titles and make them accessible to an international audience. The proposals also advocate the setting up of a UK Register of Film Heritage to identify all British works, signpost where materials can be found and where rights are held, as well as the establishment of public/private sector partnerships to enable rights holders to digitise content. New creative and entrepreneurial partnerships to ensure access on pay per view, subscription and free platforms will also be encouraged.
Speaking about the proposals, Greg Dyke, Chairman of the BFI, said: “We have set out a bold, long term vision for film that will genuinely make a different to education, audiences and filmmakers and support the UK’s growth agenda by boosting jobs and the economy and stimulating inward investment and export. I would like to thank Lord Smith for his thorough Film Policy Review, which has spring-boarded the BFI’s own Future Plan for Film.”
Amanda Nevill, Chief of the BFI (above), stated: “British creativity and talent is world-class and our plan capitalises on that to help drive economic growth in the UK, support jobs and skills and incentivise new thinking and new ideas. But this plan is also about creating a new deal for audiences. This isn’t just about the next five years; long term the BFI wants people to have a lifelong relationship with film, both the next generation of audiences and filmmakers.”
The BFI is inviting opinions ad comments about its proposals, and has launched the four-week public consultation via www.bfi.org.uk/future. There will also be a series of BFI-hosted events taking place at key cities throughout the UK; details can be found at the website.