Magazine article Screen International

BFI Future Plan to Invest [Pounds]500m over Next Five Years

Magazine article Screen International

BFI Future Plan to Invest [Pounds]500m over Next Five Years

Article excerpt

Three areas of concentration are education and audiences, filmmaking and film heritage; Film Fund will rise to £24m annually by 2017.

The British Film Institute has today (Oct 3) unveiled its eagerly awaited five-year Future Plan. Film Forever (Supporting British Film) is the new document published which lays out the blueprint for public film policy in the UK over the next five years.

The BFI is expected to invest almost £500m in UK film over the next five years. This is a combination of Lottery money, grant-in-aid money and the money the Institute earns itself.

As expected, the policy document cleaves closely to recommendations put forward in the Film Policy Review, which was launched last January led by Chris Smith. However, there were further details about just how the Institute aims to achieve its strategic aims.

"We've got roughly £50m a year in Lottery funding to distribute," BFI chair Greg Dyke commented at the London press launch on Tuesday. He said the decision was taken by the BFI board to focus on three key areas: education and audiences, filmmaking, and film heritage.

The BFI Film Fund's development and production funding will rise to £24m a year by 2017.

Dyke made it very clear that the BFI (the lead organisation for film in the UK) would no longer be "the London Film Institute." "A lot of this money is going to get spent outside of London," Dyke said.

BFI CEO Amanda Nevill revealed details of what are expected to be increasingly close ties between the Institute and such agencies as Creative England, Film London, Creative Scotland, Northern Ireland Screen and Film Agency For Wales.

"We do want to try to encourage and empower decision making at a local level whenever we can," Nevill said.

The old P&A Fund has now been remodelled as "the Distribution Fund." This will run on £4m a year and will have four categories of support - big audience awards of up to £300,000, "breakout" awards to enable films to reach beyond their core audience, "new models" for innovative distribution strategies and, finally, a more flexible scheme for supporting "sleepers," upcoming or in-release films that have taken the market by surprise and will benefit from late support. …

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