BFI education strategy

Source: BFI

BFI education strategy

The British Film Institute (BFI) has outlined a shift in its education strategy, with £14m to be invested in children aged 5-18 years old to help inspire what the BFI described as “UK’s future film lovers, the industry’s future workforce and filmmakers of tomorrow”.

National Lottery ‘good cause’ funding will focus on bringing screen culture into classrooms, delivering local grassroots activity in disadvantaged communities and supporting entry-level practical courses and guidance to help build careers.

The BFI is partnering with film eduction charity Into Film and National Saturday Club, the nationwide free study support programme, to help administer the three-year funding initiative, which will commence in April 2023. These programmes see the BFI continuing its long term support of Into Film and build on a pilot in which the BFI supported the National Saturday Club to deliver the Film&Media programme for the last two years.

This shift in strategy is one of the outcomes of the BFI’s 10-year National Lottery review, Screen Culture 2033. It was informed by the industry and public consultation the BFI undertook when devising the strategy.

The BFI is awarding funding to the 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.

Funding allocation

Receiving £12.4m over three years, Into Film will work across all three programmes. The National Saturday Club will receive £1.5m for the same period to collaborate with Into Film to deliver Young Creatives.

As part of its total allocation, Into Film will spend £5m to deliver Teaching With Film, a programme that will prioritise bringing screen culture into formal education settings for five 5-18 year-olds, using film as a learning tool across the entire curriculum. It will also focus on supporting teachers to deliver a range of film and moving image related courses for 14-18 year-olds, with the aim of ensuring students gain the necessary skills to pursue careers in screen industries.

Into Film will also have £6m for a Careers and Progression programme targeted to give 11-18 year-olds access to information, guidance and advice on entering the screen sector. The funding will also support a social media campaign, directly reaching out to 11-18 year-olds about what 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 a 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 engage with local organisations to deliver high quality 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, while building partnerships with higher and further education establishments.

“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,” said Leigh Adams, the BFI’s director of education and learning. “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.”

These programmes complement the recently announced BFI Film Academy Plus, which will deliver in venue education activity by partners across the UK. Further funding to continue a more comprehensive BFI Film Academy offer, plus significant investment in supporting skills, will be detailed in due course.