|Type||Film, television charitable organisation|
The British Film Institute (BFI) is a film and television charitable organisation which promotes and preserves filmmaking and television in the United Kingdom. The BFI uses lottery funds to encourage film production, distribution, and education. It is sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
It was established by royal charter in 1933 to encourage the development of the arts of film, television and the moving image throughout the United Kingdom, to promote their use as a record of contemporary life and manners, to promote education about film, television and the moving image generally, and their impact on society, to promote access to and appreciation of the widest possible range of British and world cinema and to establish, care for and develop collections reflecting the moving image history and heritage of the United Kingdom.
The BFI maintains the world's largest film archive, the BFI National Archive, previously called National Film Library (1935–1955), National Film Archive (1955–1992), and National Film and Television Archive (1993–2006). The archive contains more than 50,000 fiction films, over 100,000 non-fiction titles, and around 625,000 television programmes. The majority of the collection is British material but it also features internationally significant holdings from around the world. The Archive also collects films which feature key British actors and the work of British directors.
The BFI runs the BFI Southbank (formerly the National Film Theatre (NFT)) and London IMAX cinema, both located on the south bank of the River Thames in London.The IMAX has the largest cinema screen in the UK and shows popular recent releases and short films showcasing its technology, which includes 3D screenings and 11,600 watts of digital surround sound. BFI Southbank (the National Film Theatre screens and the Studio) shows films from all over the world, particularly critically acclaimed historical and specialised films that may not otherwise get a cinema showing. The BFI also distributes archival and cultural cinema to other venues – each year to more than 800 venues all across the UK, as well as to a substantial number of overseas venues.
The BFI offers a range of education initiatives, in particular to support the teaching of film and media studies in schools.In late 2012, the BFI received money from the Department for Education to create the BFI Film Academy Network for young people aged between 16 and 25. A residential scheme is held at the NFTS every year.
The BFI runs the annual London Film Festival along with BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival and the youth-orientated Future Film Festival.
The BFI publishes the monthly Sight & Sound magazine as well as films on Blu-ray, DVD and books. It runs the BFI National Library (a reference library), and maintains the BFI Film & TV Database and Summary of Information on Film and Television (SIFT), which are databases of credits, synopses and other information about film and television productions. SIFT has a collection of about 7 million still frames from film and television.
The BFI has co-produced a number of television series featuring footage from the BFI National Archive, in partnership with the BBC, including The Lost World of Mitchell & Kenyon , The Lost World of Friese-Greene , and The Lost World of Tibet .
The BFI has also produced contemporary artists' moving image work, most notably through the programme of the BFI Gallery, which was located at BFI Southbank from March 2007 to March 2011. The programme of the gallery resulted in several new commissions by leading artists, including projects which engaged directly with the BFI National Archive, among which: Patrick Keiller's 'The City of the Future', Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard's 'RadioMania: An Abandoned Work' and Deimantas Narkevicious' 'Into the Unknown'. The Gallery also initiated projects by filmmakers such as Michael Snow, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Jane and Louise Wilson and John Akomfrah.
The institute was founded in 1933.Despite its foundation resulting from a recommendation in a report on Film in National Life, at that time the institute was a private company, though it has received public money throughout its history—from the Privy Council and Treasury until 1965 and the various culture departments since then.
The institute was restructured following the Radcliffe Report of 1948 which recommended that it should concentrate on developing the appreciation of filmic art, rather than creating film itself. Thus control of educational film production passed to the National Committee for Visual Aids in Education and the British Film Academy assumed control for promoting production. From 1952 to 2000, the BFI provided funding for new and experimental filmmakers via the BFI Production Board.
The institute received a Royal Charter in 1983. This was updated in 2000, and in the same year the newly established UK Film Council took responsibility for providing the BFI's annual grant-in-aid (government subsidy). As an independent registered charity, the BFI is regulated by the Charity Commission and the Privy Council.
In 1988, the BFI opened the London Museum of the Moving Image (MOMI) on the South Bank. MOMI was acclaimed internationally and set new standards for education through entertainment, but subsequently it did not receive the high levels of continuing investment that might have enabled it to keep pace with technological developments and ever-rising audience expectations. The Museum was "temporarily" closed in 1999 when the BFI stated that it would be re-sited. This did not happen, and MOMI's closure became permanent in 2002 when it was decided to redevelop the South Bank site. This redevelopment was itself then further delayed.
The BFI is currently managed on a day-to-day basis by its chief executive, Ben Roberts. Supreme decision-making authority rests with a chair and a board of up to 14 governors. The current chair is Josh Berger, who took up the post in February 2016.He succeeded Greg Dyke, who took office on 1 March 2008. Dyke succeeded the late Anthony Minghella (film director), who was chair from 2003 until 31 December 2007. The chair of the board is appointed by the BFI's own Board of Governors but requires the consent of the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. Other Governors are co-opted by existing board members when required (but if one of these is appointed Deputy Chair, that appointment is subject to ratification by the Secretary of State).
The BFI operates with three sources of income. The largest is public money allocated by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. In 2011–12, this funding amounted to approximately £20m.[ citation needed ] The second largest source is commercial activity such as receipts from ticket sales at BFI Southbank or the BFI London IMAX theatre (£5m in 2007), sales of DVDs, etc. Thirdly, grants and sponsorship of around £5m are obtained from various sources, including National Lottery funding grants, private sponsors and through donations (J. Paul Getty, Jr. donated around £1m in his will following his death in 2003). The BFI is also the distributor for all Lottery funds for film (in 2011–12 this amounted to c.£25m).[ citation needed ]
As well as its work on film, the BFI also devotes a large amount of its time to the preservation and study of British television programming and its history. In 2000, it published a high-profile list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes, as voted for by a range of industry figures.[ citation needed ]
The delayed redevelopment of the National Film Theatre finally took place in 2007, creating in the rebranded "BFI Southbank" new education spaces, a contemporary art gallery dedicated to the moving image [ citation needed ](the BFI Gallery), and a pioneering mediatheque which for the first time enabled the public to gain access, free of charge, to some of the otherwise inaccessible treasures in the National Film & Television Archive. The mediatheque has proved to be the most successful element of this redevelopment, and there are plans to roll out a network of them across the UK.
An announcement of a £25 million capital investment in the Strategy for UK Screen Heritage was made by Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport at the opening night of the 2007 London Film Festival. The bulk of this money paid for long overdue development of the BFI National Archive facilities in Hertfordshire and Warwickshire.[ citation needed ]
During 2009 the UK Film Council persuaded the government that there should only be one main public-funded body for film, and that body should be the UKFC while the BFI should be abolished. During 2010 the government announced that there would be a single body for film. Despite intensive lobbying (including controversially using public funding to pay public relations agencies to put its case) the UKFC failed to persuade the government that it should have that role and, instead, the BFI took over most of the UKFC's functions and funding from 1 April 2011, and the UKFC was subsequently abolished. Since then, the BFI has been responsible for all Lottery funding for film—originally in excess of £25m p.a., and currently in excess of £40m p.a.[ citation needed ]
The BFI Film Academy forms part of the BFI's overall 5–19 Education Scheme. The programme is being supported by the Department for Education in England who have committed £1m per annum funding from April 2012 and 31 March 2015. It is also funded through the National Lottery, Creative Scotland and Northern Ireland Screen.
On 29 November 2016 BFI announced that over 100,000 television programmes are to be digitised before the video tapes, which currently have an estimated five-to-six-year shelf life, become unusable. BFI aim to make sure that the television archive is still there in 200 years' time.
The BFI recently announced that it is teaming up with American diversity and inclusion program #StartWith8Hollywood founded by Thuc Doan Nguyen to make it global.
The United Kingdom has had a significant film industry for over a century. While film production reached an all-time high in 1936, the "golden age" of British cinema is usually thought to have occurred in the 1940s, during which the directors David Lean, Michael Powell, and Carol Reed produced their most critically acclaimed works. Many British actors have accrued critical success and worldwide recognition, such as Maggie Smith, Roger Moore, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Daniel Day-Lewis, Judi Dench, Gary Oldman, Emma Thompson, and Kate Winslet. Some of the films with the largest ever box office returns have been made in the United Kingdom, including the third and sixth highest-grossing film franchises.
The National Science and Media Museum, located in Bradford, West Yorkshire, is part of the national Science Museum Group in the UK. The museum has seven floors of galleries with permanent exhibitions focusing on photography, television, animation, videogaming, the Internet and the scientific principles behind light and colour. It also hosts temporary exhibitions and maintains a collection of 3.5 million pieces in its research facility.
The National Film and Television School (NFTS) is a film, television and games school established in 1971 and based at Beaconsfield Studios in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England. It is featured in the 2021 ranking by The Hollywood Reporter of the top 15 International film schools.
Southbank Centre is a complex of artistic venues in London, England, on the South Bank of the River Thames.
The BFI IMAX is an IMAX cinema in the South Bank district of London, just north of Waterloo station. It is owned by the British Film Institute and since July 2012 has been operated by Odeon Cinemas.
The UK Film Council (UKFC) was a non-departmental public body set up in 2000 to develop and promote the film industry in the UK. It was constituted as a private company limited by guarantee, owned by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, and governed by a board of 15 directors. It was funded from various sources including the National Lottery. John Woodward was the Chief Executive Officer of the UKFC. On 26 July 2010, the government announced that the council would be abolished; Although one of the parties elected into that government had, for some months, promised a bonfire of the Quangos, Woodward said that the decision had been taken with "no notice and no consultation". UKFC closed on 31 March 2011, with many of its functions passing to the British Film Institute.
The Museum of the Moving Image (MOMI) was a museum of the history of cinema technology and media sited below Waterloo Bridge in London. It was opened on 15 September 1988 by Prince Charles. The museum formed part of the cultural complex on the South Bank of the River Thames. MOMI was mainly funded by private subscription and operated by the British Film Institute. MOMI was closed in 1999, initially on a supposedly temporary basis, and with the intention of its being relocated to Jubilee Gardens nearby. Its permanent closure was announced in 2002.
Jane Wilson and Louise Wilson are British artists who work together as a sibling duo. Jane and Louise Wilson's art work is based in video, film and photography. They are YBA artists who were nominated for the Turner Prize in 1999.
The BFI London Film Festival is an annual film festival founded in 1957 and held in the United Kingdom, running for two weeks in October with co-operation from the British Film Institute. It screens more than 300 films, documentaries and shorts from approximately 50 countries.
Dame Elizabeth Anne Lucy Forgan, DBE is an English journalist, and radio and television executive.
Leslie Hardcastle OBE was controller of the British Film Institute's (BFI) National Film Theatre (NFT) complex on London's South Bank from its early beginnings through to his retirement in the mid 1990s.
The BFI National Archive is a department of the British Film Institute, and one of the largest film archives in the world. It was founded as the National Film Library in 1935; its first curator was Ernest Lindgren. In 1955, its name became the National Film Archive, and, in 1992, the National Film and Television Archive. It was renamed BFI National Archive in 2006.
Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard are British artists and filmmakers. Forsyth was born in Manchester in 1973, Pollard in Newcastle in 1972.
The Abingdon Film Unit is an organisation based at Abingdon School, Abingdon-on-Thames, in Oxfordshire, England that enables pupils to make their own short documentary or animated films under the guidance of a team of industry professionals. The AFU was formed in 2003 by renowned British documentary maker Michael Grigsby and the school's Head of Drama, Jeremy Taylor. They led the Unit together until Grigsby's death at the age of 76 in March 2013. The Film Unit has been very successful with several films selected for screening at the National Film Theatre in London and others added to the National Film Archive.
The British Universities Film & Video Council (BUFVC) is a representative body promoting the production, study and use of moving image, sound and related media for learning and research. It is a company limited by guarantee, with charity status, serving schools, colleges and post compulsory education interests in the UK.
The UK Jewish Film Festival is an annual film festival dedicated to world cinema that explores Jewish life, history and culture worldwide. It was founded in 1997 and takes place in November, in London and in other cities in the United Kingdom.
BFI Southbank is the leading repertory cinema in the UK, specialising in seasons of classic, independent and non-English language films. It is operated by the British Film Institute.
The Hayward Gallery is an art gallery within the Southbank Centre in central London, England and part of an area of major arts venues on the South Bank of the River Thames. It is sited adjacent to the other Southbank Centre buildings and also the National Theatre and BFI Southbank repertory cinema. Following a rebranding of the South Bank Centre to Southbank Centre in early 2007, the Hayward Gallery was known as the Hayward until early 2011.
James Scott is a British filmmaker, painter, draughtsman and printmaker.
The BFI Gallery was the BFI's contemporary art gallery dedicated to artists' moving image housed within BFI Southbank, the British Film Institute's flagship venue in London. The space was funded by the BFI with Arts Council England support and opened on 14 March 2007, to coincide with the reopening of the site. Its programme of new commissions, events and associated artists' film screenings was curated by Elisabetta Fabrizi, BFI Head of Exhibitions. The programme included exhibitions by Michael Snow, John Akomfrah, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Pierre Bismuth, Jane & Louise Wilson, Peter Campus, Patrick Keiller, Phil Collins, Matt Collishaw, Yvonne Rainer, Julian Rosensfeld, Michel Gondry, Deimantas Narkevicious, Mark Lewis. Film programmes linked to the gallery exhibitions included a retrospective of the films of Sergei Paradjanov and of Michael Snow.
Britain's biggest cinema screen – 20 m x 26 m, IMAX 2D and 3D, 70 mm and 35 mm film projectors[ citation needed ]
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Independent blog about events affecting the BFI