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New Conditions for BFI Funding
08 Jul 2014 : Deirdre Molumby
The BFI has announced that from September, UK film productions that receive money from the BFI Film Fund must adhere to new diversity guidelines. The BFI’s new three ticks assessment is designed to improve diversity of ethnicity, disability, gender, sexual orientation and socio-economic background in the industry.

The guidelines require applicants to demonstrate commitment across three areas of their production: on screen diversity, off-screen diversity and employment opportunities. At least one ‘tick’ will be needed in two of the three areas for a project to be eligible for funding. Projects will be independently assessed by the BFI’s Certification Unit with qualifying films receiving a BFI diversity logo.

One of the aims of the guidelines is to also create opportunities for people from socially disadvantaged backgrounds and individuals whose current socio-economic circumstances don’t provide them with the financial stability to progress in the industry. For example, this might include individuals who or whose parents and family live below the national average wage; or whose parents were not university educated, or who were given free school meals.

The BFI is also recruiting a diversity expert to support the implementation of the new guidelines and provide guidance to BFI-backed productions. The approach, which is backed by UK producers’ association Pact and recruitment and training charity Creative Access, will be adapted and rolled out across all BFI Lottery funding for film by July 2015.

BFI Film Fund director Ben Roberts has introduced the measure to a number of creative industries executives at a roundtable on diversity hosted by Creative Industries Minister Ed Vaizey.

Roberts commented: “The ‘three ticks’ approach incentivises good practice and helps to embed diversity across every area of a film’s production, whilst being flexible enough to allow productions to make positive choices. Ideally we want to see the industry embracing the three ticks approach to ensure that the most talented are able to progress and succeed, whatever their background.”

Vaizey said: “I want to continue to see the TV, film and the performing arts industries actively discussing how they can drive change and improve diversity right across these sectors. I hope others will follow the BFI in developing and implementing possible solutions.”

Examples of recent Film Fund films that would get a tick for diversity of subject matter include ‘Belle’, ‘Pride’, ‘Suffragette’, ‘The Selfish Giant’, ‘Catch Me Daddy’, and Ireland-UK co-productions ‘Calvary’ and ‘Philomena’.

For more information, on the BFI Film Fund Diversity Guidelines for Production, click here.

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