BFI unveils 10-year screen culture strategy and three-year funding plan

The British Film Institute (BFI), the UK’s leading organization for film and moving images, has launched a new, far-reaching 10-year strategy together with a funding plan covering the first three years of the period.

The Screen Culture 2033 strategy, which the BFI will lead to its 100th anniversary in 2033, has six major ambitions. As part of this, the BFI aims to transform its relationship with UK audiences and to be known as the open house for the discovery of on-screen storytelling; championing the full breadth of screen culture, including video gaming and interactive work; and create a state-of-the-art screen archive of the future.

In addition, the BFI strives to be “digital first” in the provision of cultural programs via the streamer BFI+; advocating screen culture in school curricula and building a skilled and sustainable workforce that reflects the British people; and supporting the sector in providing national lottery funding, policy work and credentials.

“To achieve all of this, the BFI will work to become more financially resilient in its approach, building on its charitable and commercial revenues,” the BFI said in a statement.

In the UK, 2.7% of available national lottery revenue is used to fund films through the BFI. Over the years, lottery-funded films have won 14 Oscars and 32 BAFTAs.

In a new national lottery strategy for 2023-2033, the organization intends to invest a total of £136.3 million ($153 million) or around £45 million per year in lottery funds over the first three years of the 10-year strategy period. Of this, £54m is earmarked for filmmakers; £34.2m for education and skills, which will help to address the UK’s severe skills shortages; £27.6m for audience development; £10m for work on screen heritage; £7.3m for innovation and industry services; and £3.2 million for international operations.

Both the 10-year strategy and the three-year funding plan will work with three core principles: equity, diversity and inclusion; a UK-wide order; and environmental sustainability.

British Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan, who took up the role earlier this month, said: “For many people around the world, our television and film is our calling card. At home, it creates jobs and helps us see and tell the stories of our lives. Alongside our work in government, this long-term plan will help ensure the UK is a great place to make films, TV shows and video games in the future.”

BFI Chairman Tim Richards, who is also CEO of European cinema chain Vue, added: “The ambitions we have in Screen Culture 2033 – bringing the BFI to its 100 creators, audiences, educators and the industry to ensure that the in Britain produced and consumed screen culture truly reflects our vibrant and diverse population. Our role in creating the right conditions for economic growth and cultural development and appreciation of British screen culture in our past, present and future has never been more important.”

BFI Chief Executive Ben Roberts added: “With Screen Culture 2033 we aim to transform the way people who appreciate screen culture can access our programs and gain skills and jobs across the UK. We will provide broader access to our world-class collections and programming, including through expanding our digital platforms.

At a time when economic pressures are affecting people’s lives and the resilience of industry, our commitment to fulfilling the National Lottery’s mission for good causes was more important than ever. Screen culture doesn’t stand still and neither do we.”

https://variety.com/2022/film/global/bfi-10-year-screen-culture-strategy-funding-plan-1235381398/ BFI unveils 10-year screen culture strategy and three-year funding plan

Charles Jones

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