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BFI invests £14M in UK’s future film lovers, the industry’s future workforce and filmmakers of tomorrow

Feb 15, 2023

National Lottery funding will now focus on bringing screen culture into classrooms; deliver local grassroots activity in disadvantaged communities; support entry level practical courses; and guidance to help build careers

UK-wide partners Into Film and National Saturday Club funded to provide activity for 5-18 year-olds over three years

The BFI has announces £14m National Lottery ‘good cause’ funding over three years for education for 5-18 year-olds. Investment in three programmes of UK-wide activity will see a significant shift in focus in how the BFI will support film education with National Lottery funding going forward, an outcome of its new 10 year strategy published last year.

The BFI is awarding funding to two UK-wide partners to deliver three targeted work streams: BFI National Lottery Teaching with Film, BFI National Lottery Young Creatives and BFI National Lottery Careers and Progression. Into Film, receiving £12.4m over three years, will work across all three programmes, and National Saturday Club will receive £1.5m for the same period to collaborate with Into Film to deliver Young Creatives. The change in focus and development of the three programmes has been informed by the industry and public consultation undertaken by the BFI when devising its National Lottery Strategy 2023-2033, and will see activity starting in April 2023.

Leigh Adams, director of education and learning, said: “Screen culture has a unique power to support learning and expand horizons, so we’re focused on extending our reach to more children and young people. The funding announced today will see us connect with more schools to ensure teachers, educators and career professionals can bring screen culture into the classroom as a powerful tool to support learning across the curriculum, and open doors to a range of career opportunities. We are also seeking to engage wider communities, and open up direct links between schools and further and higher education courses. With our partners we want to help ignite a passion for screen culture in future film fans and cinema-goers, as well as potential festival programmers, costume and set designers, VFX supervisors and the many other roles offered within our dynamic sector.”

Almost £5m for Teaching with Film will result in a change of focus for Into Film, the film education charity, to see it prioritise bringing screen culture into formal education settings to benefit more 5-18 year-olds. The programme seeks to ensure UK educators are equipped to capitalise on the expansive power of film and the moving image as a learning tool, so it can be utilised across the entire curriculum, encouraging engagement with a range of screen culture while supporting wider learning outcomes. It will also focus on supporting teachers to deliver a range of film and moving image related courses for 14-18 year-olds to ensure students gain the necessary skills to meaningfully pursue careers in screen industries.

The £6m Careers and Progression programme will aim to ensure 11-18 year-olds have access to expert careers information, guidance and advice on entering the screen sector. Proactive and rapid upskilling of school careers leads will give them insight, tools and resources to open doors to the vast array of job and career opportunities available. Accurate and up to date information will enable them to guide young people to next steps in further/higher education, training or entry level roles employment. The funding will also support a social media campaign, directly targeting 11-18 year-olds with the huge potential the sector can offer them.

For Young Creatives, Into Film and the National Saturday Club (each awarded £1.5m of National Lottery funding) will work collaboratively on UK-wide, community-based programme for 11-16 year-olds. With a focus on those living in educationally, culturally and socially disadvantaged areas, the programme aims to galvanise local organisations to deliver a quality offer of entry level practical filmmaking training outside of the curriculum. Young Creatives will capitalise on and expand both Into Film’s extensive network of successful Film Clubs, and National Saturday Club’s established nationwide programme of extracurricular activity. Building partnerships across community organisations and higher and further education establishments, Young Creatives aims to unlock access to their facilities and expertise to bring groups of young people together to discover and develop practical filmmaking skills. Participants will also gain transferable skills, plus an understanding of the job and career opportunities available in the screen industry, with a focus on them accessing local educational pathways.

These programmes see the BFI continuing its long term support of Into Film, plus building on a successful pilot which saw the BFI support the National Saturday Club to deliver the Film&Media programme for the last two years. They also complement the recently announced BFI Film Academy Plus, which will deliver in venue education activity by partners across the UK, while further funding to continue a more comprehensive BFI Film Academy offer, plus significant investment in supporting skills, will be detailed in the continued roll-out of the new strategy.

The BFI National Lottery Strategy 2023-2033 is underpinned by our three core principles of equity, diversity and inclusion; UK-wide; and environmental sustainability that are embedded throughout the strategy. The three education programmes announced today seek to address the following key priorities:

  • empower children and young people to develop their own relationship with a wide range of screen culture; to ensure more children and young people understand how to express their creativity through stories on screen
  • provide clear, equitable and more visible routes into the sector as a career
  • focus on opening up routes into the industry for those currently under-represented so they have access to the support they need to develop their careers and skills
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