BFI 2022: their future plans. Now with added animation!

The BFI has published its new five year plan ‘designed to help shape the BFI’s next chapter for film, television, animation and the moving image generally’. And we think that even just from that phrase – acknowledging animation as something distinct – it’s very encouraging!

It’s a high level document – and it’s strategic, so about their ambitions, not necessarily the reality of what they’ll be able to do. But still.

They say ‘the riches of British animation’ will be an ongoing focus in their cultural programme, making available ‘comprehensive history of British animation featuring 275 films from the 19th century to the present day.’

And there are exciting prospects for animation production from the BFI Film Fund. In the next five years they say they’ll focus their work ‘across live-action fiction, animation and documentaries. ’ We’re not sure that leaves out..but again, animation is emphatically there.

They say they’ll ‘support work across different platforms and lengths to encourage creative filmmaking that expands the possibilities of storytelling and form’, and they’ll update eligibility criteria ‘specifically around length of work and the expectations of a theatrical release.’ They’ll ‘de-restrict’ their funds to allow them to support ‘certain non-theatrical, episodic, hour-long or other non feature-length work, a greater variety of animation and digital work, and narrative filmmaking on other platforms, including immersive and interactive work.’ Which sounds great for what a lot of us do.

A couple of other key things to note that might matter to us are their plan to devolve 25 per cent of all BFI production funding to decision-makers based outside London, and a commitment to a ten-year skills strategy with Creative Skillset.

It’s all here.