Department for Culture Media and Sport

film policy

On 1 April 2011, the British Film Institute (BFI) became the lead strategic body on film. Film London manages the UK’s national inward investment function for film.

The British Film Institute

The majority of DCMS funding for film is channelled through the British Film Institute (BFI) to promote UK film and as a Lottery distributor, helps fund the film industry.

Through its Film Fund, the BFI invests £15 million a year in the development and production of feature films. Its Prints and Advertising Fund supports the distribution of films that might not otherwise find a wide audience.

The BFI will be taking a partnership approach for promoting British film internationally, currently working with BBC Worldwide, BAFTA and Film London.

The BFI’s main objectives are to:

  • develop a sustainable UK film industry
  • develop film culture in the UK by improving access to, and education about, the moving image
  • promote knowledge, understanding and development of the art of film and TV in the UK
  • play a key role in encouraging public appreciation of film through improved access to cinema, film heritage and educational provision 
  • be responsible for maintaining the National Film and Television Archive

The BFI exhibits a wide range of cultural films at the BFI Southbank, both British and International. In addition, they organise the London Film Festival and the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.

Film London

Film London manages the UK’s national inward investment function for film; this is done through the British Film Commission (BFC), who is responsible for promoting the UK as the best place to produce feature films.

Under the management of Film London and its Advisory Board, the BFC set the strategy, policy, and delivery objectives to bring vital investment to the UK through feature film production. The BFC are delivered through a public/private partnership with key film industry bodies including Pinewood Studios Group, UK Screen Association, and the Production Guild.

The BFC have strong links with the national agencies in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to successfully promote the whole UK package.

British Film Institute - funded partners

We give the BFI responsibility to oversee its funded partners:

Skillset and the Skills Investment Fund

  • Sector Skills Council for the Audio Visual Industries (broadcast, film, video, interactive media and photo imaging)
  • BFI’s partner on skills development and training in film
  • administers the Skills Investment Fund, set up by DCMS to act as a national training strategy and funded by voluntary contributions from film productions

Skillset website

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The Regions

On 29 November 2010, the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries Ed Vaizey announced that the English Regional Screen Agencies outside London will transform their network into Creative England, a simpler, more efficient structure with an expanded remit to support the creative industries across England.

Creative England will ensure an England-wide delivery network for film, whilst laying the foundations for a longer-term solution, connecting creative and digital SMEs with national and international markets, public and private funding.  

The screen agencies will work together to recalibrate into the three hubs of Creative North, Creative Central and Creative South. We are now in discussion with the BFI and Creative England to agree a Film Strategy, and the first stage of the process will be an online public consultation into this strategy where we will invite views from the film industry across the UK.

Creative England Website

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First Light

  • funds and inspires the making of short films by young people aged between five and eighteen to write, act, shoot and produce films

The BFI awards £1.1million of Lottery money every year to enable First Light to work with filmmakers and organisations to give young people first-hand experience of filmmaking.

First Light website

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The MEDIA Desk

  • offers a wide variety of funding for film and television, covering areas from training through development and distribution to markets, events and festivals
  • the UK MEDIA Desk offers support and advice for UK applicants

MediaDesk website

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National Film and Television School

The leading centre for graduates who want to work in film and television production.

  • joint-funded by DCMS, and audiovisual industries

National Film and Television School website

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