Amanda Nevill promises a ‘fresh approach to film education’

From Screen Daily  today:

BFI announces “pillars” of its Five Year Plan For Film

18 April, 2012 |

By Andreas Wiseman

Amanda Nevill today promised a “fresh approach” from the BFI in its Five Year Forward Plan For Film; government and BFI to officially respond to Chris Smith’s Film Policy Review on May 14.

BFI CEO Amanda Nevill today disclosed the “three pillars” of the BFI’s Five Year Forward Plan For Film.

Nevill said the Plan would be “broadly structured around three pillars” consisting of “a major commitment to education and a better deal for audiences across the UK; an emphasis on creating a supportive home for filmmakers across the value chain; and new initiatives to unlock our film heritage.”

Nevill told a gathering of UK industry at a Westminster Forum Projects seminar that the BFI will launch its industry consultation on the Plan on May 14th, and that the BFI and the government will officially respond to Chris Smith’s Film Policy Review on the same day.

She told the audience that the BFI will be consulting the industry on how it should spend the estimated £57m it is likely to receive from the Lottery in each of the next five years.

Nevill said the main thrust of the Five Year Forward Plan would be “bold” and that the BFI would “try things it hadn’t done before.”

“The Future Plan is going to be heavily influenced by the Film Policy Review,” said Nevill. “Our emphasis is going to be on the innovative and the entrepeneurial. It is up to us to take risks that private money can not and to grow future generations of audiences. We’ll be investing in new voices as well as established voices”.

Nevill added: “There will be a fresh approach to film education; a fresh approach to building audiences; a fresh approach within the BFI itself to bring new thinking to its creative, industrial and cultural role; and a fresh approach to how we invest in development, production and distribution. We are determined to be bold and brave and we will try things we haven’t done before.”

During the seminar, Nevill broke down the level of public money invested in film last year and estimated that the BFI would have around £57m in Lottery funding to invest in the UK industry in each of the next five years, above and beyond its government grant in aid:

“Last year close on £350m worth of public money was invested in UK film. This was made up primarily of the £200m from our highly effective tax relief, government grant in aid, Lottery money and broadcaster investment.

“Of that £350m, the money available for the BFI to invest is circa £79m. £22m is the grant in aid from government. £14m of this goes to the BFI for our directly funded activities such as the national archive. We are able to generate another £26m from that £14m.

“Then there is the approximately £57m per annum of Lottery funding. That is the estimate of what we think we’ll be able to spend over the next five years. It’s this Lottery money that we will be consulting on later this spring.

“We will also be entrepeneurial in raising money from other sources to complement our public funding. The question is how we can make the most difference with this investment,” she said.

BFI announces “pillars” of its Five Year Plan For Film | News | Screen


BFI National Library newsletter

Newsletter circulated by the BFI today:

BFI National Library update November 2011

The BFI is facing huge and exciting changes across all areas of its business since it became the lead body for film in April this year. It is a uniquely important time as we look to create a vision and framework for a new era for film.

As part of this new chapter for the BFI, we are exploring ways to modernise and expand the offering of the BFI National Library, to create the leading centre for film knowledge in the UK both as a physical place to visit and online for everyone. Key to this aim is increased digitisation and greater integration with our public and cultural programmes.

 You are receiving this newsletter as a friend, user, supporter or member of the Library to update you with developments to date and the options we are exploring.

As some of you already know, we have been investigating the options around relocating the Library from its current home in Stephen Street to our nearby venue on London’s South Bank. For the first time, this means we could develop a single, coherent creative vision across the venue that would bring together the whole BFI offer in one place – from the Mediatheque and programming, to Education and Collections.

World class

We want the new Library to continue to deliver a world-class specialist service for the scholarly film researcher, while also being a welcoming space for both the casual and first-time user. Our ambition is to integrate library services into the public offer at BFI Southbank by creating a space that sits well in the building, allows us to contribute and participate in existing educational, cultural and programming activities, and which encourages visitors to the BFI Southbank to use the facility and enhance their film-going experience.

We have been pleased with initial positive responses to our proposals while also acknowledging other concerns that the move will reduce our existing services or make access more difficult. The services will change but our committed aim is to improve, modernise and expand our Library offering.

Since we announced this proposal at the end of last year, we have set up a core project team to carry out detailed investigation and planning work, to explore funding and development options and to consider how best we could use the former Gallery space at BFI Southbank to achieve a phased roll out of our Library ambition.

To help us in this exploration and produce a great solution both for Library users and the BFI we have tendered and will shortly brief a firm of architects to draw up a creative concept for the space available at BFI Southbank. We want a modern and flexible physical environment through which a wider audience can connect to the knowledge resources held by the Library. The design response should be complete in December and it will be used to inform a decision on the next phase of the Library development – including timeframe, scope and cost.


We have also begun widespread consultation around a new Library and earlier this month we launched an online survey to around 3,400 targeted stakeholders, including many of the recipients of this newsletter. The survey will help build a picture of how and who the current Library is used by as well as visitor/member needs and aspirations. We have held a number of focus groups with further one-on-one interviews planned to inform future decisions.  Several communities of interest have already been involved in discussions and we will continue to publicise our ideas as the project progresses through this newsletter.

Heather Stewart, Creative Director, BFI

Changes to BFI member governor criteria

This year, the bfi has made an unprecedented change to the procedure for election of one of the two member governors of the Institute. When David Thompson steps down on expiry of his term of appointment, the bfi has ruled that the replacement member governor must reside outside London and the South East and further that at least 10% of bfi Members must vote in the election for an appointment to be valid.

In the recent past, we understand only about 8% of members have voted in such elections. Given that this time round the majority of bfi members (most of whom live in London and the South East) have been disenfranchised it seems more than likely that, under the new rules – which have not been the subject of consultation with members – there may be no candidate with a mandate deemed valid by the bfi – still less by all the membership.

Member governors date from the 1970s when, in response to widespread disquiet by bfi members at bfi management policies, a majority of members attending the bfi AGM voted not to approve the remuneration and reappointment of the bfi’s auditors. This was, and remains, effectively the only democratic sanction which members are able to exercise. The bfi Members’ Action Group, which had organised the AGM protest vote, subsequently agreed that it would support a motion to remunerate and reappoint the auditors if two member governors – each of whom would be elected by and answerable to the whole bfi membership – were appointed. This year’s changes are an unprecedented and unilateral break with the long standing precedent and agreement dating from the 1970s.

The bfi management’s changes to the election procedure are not ones to inspire membership participation and identification with the bfi. Rather they suggest an intensification of the top down, non-consultative and industry-not-user oriented policies of authoritarian management.


New organisation launched to represent UK screen education and research

BAFTSS (British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies) is a new organisation set up by HE professionals to represent the interests of UK screen education and research in a national context. Part of its remit is to promote the visibility and relevance of the discipline, and to respond actively to policy proposals from the government and funding agencies. It aims to work with other organisations, including the BFI, to consolidate and strengthen the vital role played by moving image education and research in British and international screen culture. More information on the website:

BAFTSS website