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By Harriet Cash on 17.5.2023

British Film Industry Announces its Five Year Plan

The King’s Speech directed by Tom Hooper”/>

The British Film Institute (BFI) has announced its plans to put £285 million of National Lottery funding into the British cinema industry over the next five years. The scheme, called New Horizons for UK Film, aims to build on the recently increased success of British films, which has seen the average share of domestic product in cinemas rise from around 6% to 13% last year.

The announcement comes as a result of Lord Smith’s review into government film policy, which was launched in January. Prime Minister David Cameron ruffled some feathers at the time with his comment that the industry should support “commercially successful pictures”.

The focus of the BFI proposals is to increase the variety of film available in cinemas, particularly outside London, as currently only 7% of regional cinemas regularly show non-mainstream film. More than half of the funding will, however, be specifically dedicated to promoting British film.

The BFI took over responsibility for funding British film after the UK Film Council was abolished last year, amid uncertainty around cuts to arts funding. The success of recent productions such as the latter parts of the Harry Potter franchise and the Oscar-winning The King’s Speech, which received £1 million of Film Council funding, have however encouraged renewed efforts to support British film. The BFI also intends to devote £17 million to developing audiences and film education, and a further £3 million to film heritage and restoration.

The plans were informed by discussion with industry professionals, and a four week public consultation period is currently under way, which can be accessed at bfi.org.uk/future.

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