The British Film Institute has launched its plan for the next five years. ‘New Horizons for UK Film’ adopts many of the recommendations from the Film Policy Review, commissioned by the DCMS, which published its report in January following a year of intensive industry consultations.
The document outlines the BFIs committment to investment in production and a major drive in film education and audience development. Over the next five years, the BFI intends to focus its support on three strategic priorities of equal importance:
Education is a key part of the foundation of a vibrant film culture and successful film industry. Moreover the cinema experience is still highly valued by audiences and filmmakers, but the choice of film available outside central London is limited. Changes in viewing patterns, whether on the big or small screen, and ways in which people discover, share and learn about films are being transformed. This is an era in which faster broadband, online distribution and more powerful mobile networks are rapidly spreading across the UK. If we can exploit them, these changes offer a great opportunity for audiences generally and young people in particular across the UK to have access to a breadth and diversity of film on the big and small screen as never before.
Film finance is increasingly difficult to find which means that the Film Tax Relief and careful investment of Lottery money is more important than ever. Critical to British success is the UK’s capacity to nurture outstanding diverse and creative talent, strengthen our skills base and infrastructure, and make available our cultural heritage. All play their part in enabling British films to achieve critical and cultural acclaim and succeed at the box office.
The UK has one of the most magnificent collections of film and television in the world and yet, only a small part is currently easily available to a public keen to be able to access them. In the digital world this is now increasingly possible; our challenge is to make it happen.
The BFI’s five-year strategy is open for public consultation for four weeks. Further information can be found here.