Welcome to BFIwatch

You are visiting BFIwatch, a blog set up to provide a discussion forum for events affecting the British Film Institute, London, UK. The blog is completely independent of the BFI, and is intended to be used as a means of sharing information between interested people around the world.

The BFI is a leading national and international cultural organisation that promotes and supports a range of activities concerned with film and television education. (To learn more about the different aspects of the BFI, click here: http://www.bfi.org.uk). Through its activities and publications it provides essential resources for research and scholarship, and it has been central to developments in film and television studies in the UK and globally.

Like many other cultural organisations, the BFI faces a lack of adequate funding for its activities. This situation has led to a programme of restructuring and a major rebranding operation. Decisions are currently being made by BFI management that will change the organisation’s identity forever, and will affect its position in the film and television education community. One of those decisions concerns BFI Publishing, which produces an award-winning, influential list of books that is at the heart of the BFI’s educational and cultural remit.

BFI management has announced its intention to look for external partners to take over the list. If this should happen, BFI authors’ rights could be affected and the list could lose its distinctive remit. The international reputation of the BFI could also be seriously damaged. Despite the radical impact of this move, there has been no discussion or debate about it. BFI authors have simply been told that they will be kept informed of progress and the final decision. The BFI is a public body accountable to its stakeholders and members. A significant policy change such as this should have been openly and democratically discussed before the decision to dispose of the list was taken, so that everyone concerned is aware of the implications.

Please add your voice to those asking for clarity and transparency in the BFI’s decision-making process. We welcome comments, suggestions and advice posted on BFIwatch.

Keep informed.

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