Quick read

A summary of the strategy’s headline initiatives.

This plan builds on our previous strategy, Film Forever, and is shaped by all that we have heard during our UK-wide consultation. It focuses on the future, rises to embrace and support the fast-evolving technological creative arena and the new post-referendum opportunities and challenges.

We focus on the future of this great art form and our plan is arranged in three sections: Future Talent, Future Learning and Skills and Future Audiences.

The strategy is underpinned by a wider interpretation of film to embrace new forms; a sustained commitment to diversity; and a series of new initiatives devolving more decision-making and funding to create more opportunity across the English regions and the Nations.

We are keenly aware that our contribution is a relatively modest part of the overall landscape. Our role is one of enabler, investing where we can most make a difference and where we can be a supportive catalyst for change. We will always choose to do this in partnership.

Here are our headline initiatives.

Manchester Animation Festival

Future talent

We will:

  • For the first time, support work across different platforms and lengths to encourage creative filmmaking that expands the possibilities of storytelling and form
  • By 2022, devolve 25 per cent of all BFI production funding to decision-makers based outside London
  • Launch a new model for fast funding to fully finance low-budget and debut films, with greater support for distributors to build audiences for early careers and risky work
  • Create a clearer progression path and gateways to accessing support for ambitious emerging filmmakers, including regional BFI NETWORK talent executives based in key cultural venues within the BFI Film Audience Network in England
  • Pilot a new £10 million Enterprise Fund providing repayable working capital for innovative projects in smaller companies working across the screen industries

Future learning and skills

We will:

  • Commit to a major new ten-year skills strategy with Creative Skillset to deliver a clearly signposted, industry-backed and adequately funded professional skills framework. To future-proof continued growth in the UK’s flourishing film sector, the strategy will focus on creating new opportunities for thousands of individuals from all backgrounds from across the UK
  • Commit to working with all producers active in the UK to create the right conditions so that every production in the UK can voluntarily adopt the BFI Diversity Standards
  • Develop a well-evidenced manifesto for film in the classroom, in partnership with Into Film, demonstrating the educational and cultural importance of the art of film and its role in inspiring the next generation of a creative workforce
  • Ensure that the BFI’s board and senior decision-making teams are representative of the UK population
Chapter and Cadw sci-fi screening at Castell Coch, Wales. Photo: Jon Pountney

Future audiences

We will:

  • Grow the engagement of 16-30 year olds with British independent and specialised film across all BFI activities by 2022, ensuring audience-facing activity prioritises and encourages this demographic, who are making the decisions that will inform their film tastes for a lifetime
  • Work with key partners to lead a major initiative to preserve and digitise an estimated 100,000 of our most at-risk British TV programmes (including early children’s programming, little-seen dramas, regional programmes, the beginnings of breakfast television) currently held on obsolete video formats and in danger of being lost if not digitised within a five-to-six-year window
  • Present major cultural programmes including:
    • A year-long focus on India in 2017
    • An ongoing exploration of British film, looking particularly at Britishness through the experience of dual heritage filmmakers and audiences, for example Black British and British Asian
    • Year-round programming celebrating the representation of women, including a season spotlighting the work of trail-blazing women writers and directors, including Kathryn Bigelow, and a focus on ‘girlfriends’, looking at the dynamics of female friendships on screen
  • Create new 35mm film prints of 100 of the great classics of British and international cinema, bringing the films to cinema audiences on big screens as the filmmakers intended
  • Launch in 2017 the largest public searchable, interactive database dedicated to British feature films released in the UK. This includes over 100 years of data on the nearly 10,000 film titles (growing weekly) released, complete with gender data. In the strategy period we will work towards a dataset relating to ethnic diversity in UK film

International leadership for UK film

We will:

  • Increase the International Fund to lead a refreshed and strengthened International Strategy in partnership with the British Film Commission and the Department for International Trade, informed by research and business intelligence, to navigate the challenges and seize the global opportunities for UK film post EU referendum