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BFI announces package of industry support under the new BFI National Lottery Sustainable Screen Fund

May 16, 2023

BAFTA albert and Julie’s Bicycle designated as the BFI’s Sustainability Partners and awarded £586k to deliver activity supporting climate and environmental action across BFI National Lottery projects and the wider industry

All BFI awardees required as a condition of funding to positively contribute to tackling the climate and ecological crisis

Keir Powell-Lewis appointed head of environmental sustainability to manage the BFI National Lottery Sustainable Screen Fund and lead the BFI’s routemap to net zero

The BFI has announced funding to two industry leaders to provide a range of resources to help industry tackle the climate and ecological crisis. Julie’s Bicycle and BAFTA albert have been awarded £586,755 of National Lottery funding over three years (2023-2026) through the new BFI National Lottery Sustainable Screen Fund to support all BFI National Lottery awardees in building environmental understanding and action on positive environmental change.

The BFI has established environmental sustainability as a core principle across its 10-year plans as set out in Screen Culture 2033 and the BFI National Lottery Strategy 2023-2033 alongside equity, diversity and inclusion; and UK-wide. Keir Powell-Lewis has been appointed Head of Environmental Sustainability to manage the fund; related BFI work which aims to support the sector minimise its environmental impact; and the BFI’s own net zero routemap.

Julie’s Bicycle has been awarded £299,800 from the new fund and BAFTA albert has been awarded £286,955. The funding will ensure access for BFI National Lottery awardees to a range of sustainability support, tools and resources provided by each organisation including open-access carbon calculators; by BAFTA albert for production across the wider screen sector including film, XR/immersive and video games and by Julie’s Bicycle for audiences, screen heritage, skills, education, innovation and industry services, and international projects. It will also enable each organisation to further define the support needed to ensure awardees can track their environmental impact , seek environmental sustainability certification where required, and upskill with relevant guidance for delivering their projects more sustainably. All new resources will be made freely-available to wider industry.

Harriet Finney, BFI Deputy CEO and Executive Director of Corporate & Industry Affairs, said: “As the world faces a climate and ecological emergency it is vital we work with the screen sector with urgency to reduce the sector’s environmental impact and efforts to reach net zero. During the public consultation for our new 10-year BFI National Lottery Strategy and Funding Plan, the message was unquestionably that support for helping the industry tackle climate emergency was a priority and has been embedded as a core principle guiding our activities and funding. The range of tried and tested tools and resources developed by BAFTA albert and Julie’s Bicycle and their ambition, experience and expertise in further innovation and guidance for the sector will help us all work faster and better in contributing a positive impact towards tackling the climate crisis.

“We are also delighted to appoint Keir Powell-Lewis in a new role managing the new fund and supporting our commitments to environmental sustainability across our activities. The role will be central to delivering a step-change in how we work as an organisation to reach net zero across our activities and our estates, and report against Government Functional Standards around environmental sustainability and energy use. Our BFI cultural programme – including festivals, BFI Player and our archive Collections – have a role to play in promoting the importance of reducing humanity’s impact on the planet. Our BFI National Lottery funded projects must be as environmentally sustainable as possible. ”

Alison Tickell, founder and director, Julie’s Bicycle, said: “The screen sector’s ability to act on the climate and ecological crisis, to adapt and build resilience in the face of its consequences, is crucial for the industry to thrive. It also has a unique role to play through its ability to tell and share stories which shine a light on both the issues we face and the solutions at hand, and to inform and inspire positive action across audiences and communities. We are delighted to be working in partnership with the BFI on the Sustainable Screen programme, to support BFI National Lottery awardees and the wider industry in building environmental understanding and supporting meaningful and positive environmental action.”

Carys Taylor, director of albert, said:”It’s great news that the BFI have put sustainability front-and-centre of their strategy and I’m incredibly proud of the TV industry having led the way in this important work through albert. We know from our research that film is often significantly more carbon intensive than TV production so it’s critically important that the film industry is more central to albert’s offer and support. We’ve a lot of work to do to but we’re excited to be working with the BFI, and its partners and awardees, to ensure this vibrant sector continues to have the right kind of impact on the planet.”

Julie’s Bicycle’s already provides access to a range of free resources and tools for BFI supported projects such as the Green Cinema Toolkit developed in collaboration with the Independent Cinema Office (ICO) for anyone working in film exhibition, from small independent exhibitors to larger cinemas and multi-arts venues tools. Under their Creative Green consultancy and certification programme and Arts Council England’s environmental programme they also have a wealth of experience working with a range of cinemas and multi-arts venues, from HOME Manchester and Watershed to Tyneside Cinema to the Curzon Group.

With the BFI’s Sustainable Screen funding, Julie’s Bicycle will support awardees to quantify and track their impacts via their Creative Climate Tools, used by more than 5,000 organisations in 50 countries to calculate carbon and wider environmental impacts. They will also provide a range of screen sector-specific webinars, case studies, practical guidance and peer exchange sessions to build understanding and support National Lottery awardees and the wider sector in developing and taking informed action.

The BAFTA albert carbon calculator was first developed within television production where it is widely adopted but is increasingly used for film production. All feature productions backed by the BFI National Lottery Filmmaking Fund and co-funding partners BBC Film and Film4 are required to seek BAFTA albert certification. Sustainable Screen funding will enable the BAFTA albert toolkit and related training to be developed further to represent production across the BFI’s wider screen strategy.

In addition to carbon accounting tools, BAFTA albert has extensive experience in delivering screen industry production and editorial training. The BFI has previously partnered BAFTA albert on environmental sustainability research to benefit the sector. These included Green Matters (an overview of current sustainable practice in film production) and A Screen New Deal (a route map to sustainable production), and the Screen New Deal: Transformation Plan to support the sector more broadly in decarbonising film and TV production, a collaboration between the BFI, BAFTA albert, Arup, Creative Wales, Ffilm Cymru Wales and Clwstwr, due to deliver later this year.

To oversee the supported sustainable screen projects and activity, Keir Powell-Lewis has been appointed Head of Environmental Sustainability. This new role will be focused on ensuring all BFI National Lottery awardees
put the environmental sustainability principle into practice and share key learnings to inform and contribute to wider sector progress on environmental sustainability.

Powell-Lewis has been leading on the BFI’s evaluation work since they joined the organisation’s Research & Statistics Unit in September 2021 as well as developing the environmental sustainability principle for the new strategy. Prior to this they worked on sustainability initiatives at the Museum of London, bluedot festival, and Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre. Keir studied Environmental Governance and is a trustee for two environmental and cultural charities.

All activity funded under the new 10-year BFI National Lottery Strategy (2023-2033) and its first three-year BFI National Lottery Funding Plan (2023-2026) will deliver against objectives which detail what the BFI wishes to achieve in using National Lottery funding for the public and industry over the next decade. Environmental sustainability is one of three cross-cutting principles that will guide all the BFI’s funding decisions and activities; equity, diversity and inclusion and UK-wide are the other two principles.

All applicants and projects for funding will be required to engage with environmental sustainability through BAFTA albert or Julie’s Bicycle and these funds are:

· Filmmakers – BFI National Lottery Filmmaking Fund (£43.5 million); BFI Network (£7.8 million); BFI National Lottery Creative Challenge Fund (£2.7 million);
· Audiences – BFI National Lottery Audience Projects Fund (£15.0 million); BFI Film Audience Network (£9.9 million); BFI National Lottery Open Cinemas (£2.7 million);
· Screen Heritage – BFI National Lottery Screen Heritage Fund (£7.9 million); Heritage 2022 (£2.1 million) for final year of Heritage 2022 programme;
· Education – BFI National Lottery Teaching with Film (5.0 million); BFI National Lottery Careers and Progression (£6.0 million); BFI National Lottery Young Creatives (£3.0 million);
· BFI Film Academy – (£3.0 million)
· Skills – BFI National Lottery National Skills Clusters (£9.0 million); BFI National Lottery Skills Fund (£5.7 million)
· International – BFI National Lottery International Connections Fund (£0.9 million); We Are UK Film (£2.3 million);
· Innovation – BFI National Lottery Research & Statistics Fund (£1.9 million); BFI National Lottery Innovation Challenge Fund (£1.8 million); BFI National Lottery Places Fund (£0.7 million);
· Industry services – BFI Production Support Services (£2.3 million); and BFI National Lottery Sustainable Screen (£0.6 million).


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