BFI becomes the lead body for film in the UK (20/04/2011)
On 1st April, BFI became the lead body for film in the UK, immediately setting the pace for change with the appointment of five new Governors. In addition, BFI is further supporting filmmakers by channelling an increased £3m towards funding for UK production (from £15m – £18m), delivering on their commitment to put overhead savings back into film.
BFI Chair Greg Dyke has confirmed that five new Governors - with a sixth to be announced next week - will join the BFI Board, following over 100 applicants from some of the biggest names across all sectors of the industry. Representing a dynamic, hugely talented and diverse range of expertise, they include:
Josh Berger, President and Managing Director of Warner Bros. Entertainment UK, Ireland and Spain; Rt. Hon James Purnell, former MP and Cabinet Minister, who has been attending BFI screenings since the age of 15 and is a dedicated supporter of the arts; and Beeban Kidron, BAFTA-winning film and TV director and founder of the very successful education charity, FILMCLUB.
Also joining the Board of Governors are Lisbeth Savill, Head of Film and Television Practice at Olswang and winner of the Women in Film and Television Business Award, and Matthew Justice, Film and TV producer and MD of Big Talk, the production company behind Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.
The new Governors take up their posts from 1 April 2011, replacing three retiring Governors, Eric Fellner, Caroline Michel and Peter Watson, plus two vacant posts.
Greg Dyke said:
"We are about to see the biggest change to the film landscape in the past ten years and these new board members have each been chosen for the individual skills, wisdom and strengths they will bring to the BFI so that it can lead on delivering a dynamic new plan for film in the UK. The Board members stepping down provided a rock-steady hand to help guide the BFI through some of the most challenging times in its history and they can be proud of their achievements. I want to thank them for everything they have done for the BFI."
Amanda Nevill, Director of the BFI, said:
"This heralds a new chapter for the BFI and a new era for film, which I believe will be one of the most fertile, exciting and successful times for British film. "
"Building on the experience and expertise of both the BFI and the UKFC, we now have an historic opportunity to create a single voice and cohesive vision for film. The new era isn't about an organisation, it's about film, film makers and audiences, and that will be our focus."
Minister for the Creative Industries, Ed Vaizey, said:
"The BFI is now the lead agency for film. The transfer of UKFC activities has been concluded with no disruption to film makers. I would like to pay tribute to the hard work and dedication of the staff at UKFC and the BFI who helped make this happen and who put the interests of film first. The BFI will be administering British film certification; taking over as the Lottery distributor; and overseeing a 60% increased share of Lottery proceeds for British films. In retaining key industry expertise and building on the wealth of knowledge already in the BFI I am confident that the future of British film is in safe hands."
The BFI is now the Lottery distributor for film which includes funding for film development and production, distribution (the P&A Fund), training and education through Skillset and First Light. BFI also takes on the strategic partnerships for film across the devolved nations and funding in the English regions; responsibility for UK film certification, which is the gateway to the UK film tax credit; and the MEDIA Desk UK. In supporting Film London and the British Film Commission, BFI takes on promoting British film and talent internationally. BFI recognises the importance of the Research and Statistics Unit (RSU) to the film industry, and will seek new commercial partnership funding models to support it.
BFI welcomes 38 new colleagues from the UK Film Council and will ensure a seamless transition and continuity across all activities.
Transfer of responsibilities from the UK Film Council to the BFI