Item in the Bookseller

The item below appeared in the Bookseller on 11 June:

BFI looks to sell imprint

The British Film Institute (BFI) has ‘entered into discussions with a number of external partners to take over’ its book publishing imprint. The move has prompted concern among film writers. In a letter in the Guardian, about 50 film writers and academics urged the institution to hold discussions about the move with its stakeholders.

‘We understand this is in fact the first phase of a “realignment” of the BFI, which is being undertaken because the organisation is in financial straits and it says it is unable to commit the necessary investment to sustain the publishing operation. Phase two includes the relocation of the library and reading room, and might involve its temporary closure — for a few years.

This looks like an attempt to steamroller through a badly conceived plan to solve a funding crisis caused by several factors, but essentially the result of handing responsibility for funding the BFI to the philistine and commercially oriented Film Council.’

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