As of Friday, April 1st the British Film Institute (BFI) has taken on the economic, cultural and educational roles formerly held by the UK Film Council. The BFI will now replace the UKFC as the Lottery distributor for film funding in the UK and the body’s chair, Greg Dyke has announced that the group is to increase funding for UK film production from £15m to £18m.
Friday, April 1st saw the BFI take on the UK Film Council’s previous responsibilities for funding film development and production; training; distribution and exhibition; supporting film UK-wide; film certification, development and research.
Following the move, BFI chair, Greg Dyke announced that the BFI are increasing the annual UK film fund by £3m, bringing it from £15m to £18m noting that the increase has been introduced ”as we deliver on our commitment to put overhead savings back into film.”
The chairman further announced the first five of six new Governors joining the BFI board who include president and managing director, Warner Bros Entertainment UK, Ireland and Spain, Josh Berger; former MP and cabinet minister, James Purnell; filmmaker and founder of film education charity Filmclub, Beeban Kidron; Olswang head of film and TV practice, Lisbeth Savill and producer and managing of Big Talk, Matthew Justice. The sixth new governor will be announced in coming days.
Greg Dyke further commented on the BFI’s new roles, saying: “We are about to see the biggest change to the film landscape in the past ten years and these new board members have each been chosen for the individual skills, wisdom and strengths they will bring to the BFI so that it can lead on delivering a dynamic new plan for film in the UK.”
Amanda Nevill, Director of the BFI, added that: “Building on the experience and expertise of both the BFI and the UKFC, we now have an historic opportunity to create a single voice and cohesive vision for film. The new era isn’t about an organisation, it’s about film, film makers and audiences, and that will be our focus.”
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey paid tribute to the ”hard work and dedication of the staff at UKFC and the BFI who helped make this happen and who put the interests of film first.” Minister Vaizey and Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt were the driving force in moving the responsibilities of the UK Film Council to the BFI, stating in November of last year that the British government wish to abolish the UKFC to establish a direct and “less bureaucratic” relationship with the BFI. 38 former UKFC staff members have been taken on by the BFI and will start with the group in the coming days.
For more information about the workings of the BFI visit www.bfi.org.uk