New BFI Indie Film Commission Launched
The British Film Institute (BFI) has launched a new commission to examine the health of the British Independent film sector and Lionsgate’s Zygi Kamasa has been tasked with chairing this new commission.
BFI is a charitable organization which was set in 1933 to protect and promote filmmaking and television in Britain. It has the world’s largest film archive, the BFI national archive.
Over 150,000 film titles and 625,000 TV programs are housed by the BFI national archive. Although the majority of the archive is British, it also has some significant holdings in the film industry from the rest of the world.
How does the BFI keep the dice rolling?
To keep their standing in the mainstream, the BFI works with 3 main sources of income. Their major source of funds comes from public money given by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, this funding amounts to roughly 20 million pounds. Next, is from commercial activity, mostly coming from ticket sales from their BFI Southbank and BFI London Cinemas and sales of DVDs. Then, grants and sponsorships make up around 5 million of their funding which is gained from different sources including the National Lottery.
This new BFI Independent film commission has been tasked with studying the independent film sector in Britain and giving recommendations on how it can protect and improve its future films to aim for stronger growth locally and to push growth internationally.
As recently announced, the work of the new commission will be a big part of the BFI’s wider 5-year plan for British film.
It was outlined in the BFI 5-year plan, known as the BFI2022, that the organization will aim to create the best possible conditions for a vibrant national film culture with independent film as the forefront. Indie films will be enjoyed as part of a diverse UK film industry, aiming to meet the fast changes in modern day film.
The BFI2022 will have nearly 500 million pounds invested in the 5-year plan which outlines how the BFI will prioritize audiences in the future, acquire new learning and skills and determine future talent. The organization is also looking in to capitalizing on new international opportunities available to UK film.
The panel from the new commission on independent film will ask experts from right across the film industry such as producers, sales agents, distributors, and exhibitors to give evidence over the next few months before reporting its findings in the Autumn of this year.
“The challenges facing U.K film are more pronounced than ever”, according to BFI. This is despite the production being up and British independent films having a profile on the international stage, screening at festivals and in theaters around the world.
The members of the new commission will be announced later this month. The Film Distributor’s Association, The U.K Cinema Association, and the Independent Producers Association will all also be closely involved in the investigation.
BFI Chairman, Josh Berger said that: ” Film in the U.K is booming and the role of the BFI is to ensure that independent film -the incubator of creativity- flourishes in this environment.”