The 10 biggest recipients of distribution funding from the British Film Institute (BFI) received a total of £521,353 from the organisation’s Audience Fund in the first half of 2022.
The biggest Audience Fund award went to Altitude Film Distribution, which received £135,170 to support the March 4 release of Clio Barnard’s Bradford-set love story Ali & Ava. The film went on to take £349,935 at the box office, according to figures supplied by the BFI.
Mubi UK’s release of Joachim Trier’s Norwegian drama The Worst Person In The World was the second largest recipient. It received £105,785 and garnered £1,061,537 at the box office.
This was followed by Peccadillo Pictures’ release of Todd Stephens’ Swan Song. The LGBTQ+ comedy was granted £45,900 and took £31,498 at the box office.
Picturehouse Entertainment received £40,000 to back the launch of Audrey Diwan’s abortion drama Happening. The Venice Golden Lion winner was released on April 22, taking £103,125 in cinemas.
The most successful release in terms of funds granted against box office takings was Vertigo Releasing’s January launch of Boiling Point. The Stephen Graham restaurant drama was granted £35,000 and went on to gross £518,559 at the box office.
Access and diversity
The BFI’s Audience Fund’s key objectives include improving access to independent UK and international film, and growing the diversity of audiences.
It also focuses on developing 16-30 year old audiences, and enhancing the confidence and capability of the sector.
The Fund supports cinema releases in two ways. The first is through Audience Fund Project Awards, which follow an application from a distributor applying to support a specific title. The second is via Audience Fund Organisation Awards, where a distributor secures an annual award to support a number of titles across the year; the BFI work with the company to agree on the titles for which it uses the funding and the amount for each.
Top 10 BFI Audience Fund awards – Jan-June 2022
[Each entry lists film title, funding award, distributor and UK box office)
1. Avi & Ava* - £135,170 (Altitude Film Distribution, box office £349,935)
2. The Worst Person In The World - £105,785 (Mubi UK, box office £1,061,537)
3. Swan Song* - £45,900 (Peccadillo Pictures, box office £31,498)
4. Happening - £40,000 (Picturehouse Entertainment, box office £103,125)
5. Boiling Point - £35,000 (Vertigo Releasing, box office £518,559)
6. Hive* - £33,945 (Altitude Film Releasing, box office £30,033)
7. Luzzu* - £33,100 (Peccadillo Pictures, box office £12,582)
8. The Real Charlie Chaplin* - £32,453 (Altitude Film Distribution, box office £53,321)
9. Ailey* - £30,000 (Dogwoof, box office £11,471)
10. Great Freedom - £30,000 (Mubi UK, box office £57,810)
*Audience Fund Organisation Award
All box office figures supplied by the BFI.