Over half of the UK public think there are too few British films shown in the UK; the survey also revealed that the British public want to see more regional and social diversity on film.

According to a survey published by the BFI today, over 50% of the British public think there are too few British films shown in the UK, either in cinemas, on television or by other media.

The survey –Opening our Eyes: How film Contributes to the Culture of the UK – was originally commissed by the UKFC as a follow up to a previous report, which revealed the opinions of “experts” on film culture in the UK. The report published today by the BFI is based on the wider British public’s views on film, with 2000 people surveyed.

78% of people in the UK are in favour of public funding for film through the national lottery, according to the survey, which also revealed that film was more popular than sport in the eyes of the British public.

Half of those asked said that they were more likely to watch a film if it was British – and 86% said that they had seen a British film in the past year.

Meanwhile, 34% of those surveyed felt there were too many films telling stories about “rich and privileged people living in London and the Home Counties”, while 40% think that there aren’t enough films that feature disabled people.

People in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and northern England are most keen to see more films set in their part of the country.

The report reveals that 84% of the population are interested in film, which compares favourably to other interests including world news (81%), watching (52% ) and playing sport (51%), politics (62%) and pop music (69%). Although film lost out to the public’s interest in news about the UK (88%) and television (88%).

The King’s Speech was the film most frequently mentioned as having a personal effect on people, followed by Schindler’s List, Avatar, Slumdog Millionare, Titanic and The Shawshank Redemption.

Respondents from minority ethnic groups were more likely than white respondents to say that a film had changed the way they think about certain things (40% compared with 29%), or inspired them to change something in their life (26% compared with 12%), or that the film had given them a role model to follow (15% compared with 6%).

The survey revealed that the majority of film viewing - 57% - is on television, with 86% of people watching a film on TV at least once a month, 63% watching a film on DVD or Blu Ray.

29% of people saw a film in the cinema at least once a month, whilst 23% downloaded or stream films from the internet and 11% watching a film on a mobile device at least monthly.

The British films most frequently mentioned in the survey as having a significant effect on society or attitudes in the UK were: Trainspotting, The Full Monty, East is East, Billy Elliott, The King’s Speech, This is England, Cathy Come Home, Brassed Off, Slumdog Millionaire and Kidulthood .

Amanda Nevill, CEO BFI said the report “proves that film is at the heart of our cultural life. Understanding, appreciating and assessing its cultural contribution is essential to a forward looking public policy and will guide our funding priorities for film. It gives us evidence of how powerful film is in today’s society, reinforcing how important access to it is and the need to continue to develop new talent and keep our industry vibrant.’