Several other partnership and investment initiatives were announced, including more money for film festivals, a one-off £5m “capital” fund for the UK’s film schools, a Diversity Fund, an animation lab in association with Aardman Animations and a youth film academy for 16 to 19 year olds in partnership with Pinewood Studios and BAFTA. BFI CEO Amanda Nevill also revealed details of stronger ties going forward between the UK’s primary film organisation and the regional agencies like Creative England, Film London and Creative Scotland, declaring that they want to empower more decision-making at a local level.
There is also a Distribution Fund (replacing the old P&A Fund) to help films reach the marketplace, which will operate on £4m a year and support audience awards, “breakout” awards, innovative distribution strategies and a flexible scheme to back “sleepers” – films with the potential to break out that may benefit from late support. Other plans include a newly created International Fund (including extra money for the British Film Commission), a UK-wide A&R-style scouting system for potential filmmaking talent, as well as the digitization (and essential rescue) of 10,000 “culturally important” British films. A public vote will determine which titles to include.
Film Forever is the result of 18 months of energetic consultation between the UK and international film industries, various cultural organisations and the British government. What’s emerged looks well placed to uncover new talent and audiences and keep the British film industry flourishing for years to come.