Magazine article Screen International

BFI Mulls Covering Childcare Costs in Bid to Boost Diversity

Magazine article Screen International

BFI Mulls Covering Childcare Costs in Bid to Boost Diversity

Article excerpt

Speaking in Cannes, the British Film Institute (BFI) has said that it expects 50% of its funding to go to women directors before 2020.

BFI CEO Amanda Nevill and BFI Film Fund director Ben Roberts were among industry taking part in a diversity panel hosted by Directors UK, which earlier this month released a report calling for 50:50 public funding for women directors by 2020.

According to the report, in the decade from 2004 to 2014, only 13.6% of working film directors in the UK were women. It claimed an "unconscious, systemic bias" towards male directors in UK.

"We agree with the 50:50 [target]" said Nevill in Cannes. "In terms of the films we fund, we will do it together before 2020."

"Targets are important because they help message to the world that we are open and equal," added Roberts. "But we are limited in that we rarely put in more than 50% of a budget."

In 2015-16, 34% of the films the BFI backed were from women directors.

Roberts called on festivals and voters to be more mindful of diversity: "Suffragette is a great example of a film made by women with women in mind and it made £10m at the UK box office. But it didn't get a single nomination at the BAFTAs. That's really depressing.

"I do think that anyone who votes for BAFTA or anyone who selects for festivals shouldn't just be thinking about what's best but should also be thinking about what feels like an opportunity to send out some positive signals. …

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