The British Film Institute (BFI) today officially launched its diversity fund Three Ticks, with the dedicated aim to increase diversity representation in front of and behind the camera. The fund will have an initial investment pool of $1.5 million to be rolled out across development, production, distribution and audience development. Other UK funders, including  including Creative Skillset, Creative England, Creative Scotland, Ffilm Cymru Wales, Film London, Into Film and Northern Ireland Screen have also adopted the model, now known as the BFI Diversity Standard. The BFI fund officially opens November 2.

15 features have already received funding from the Three Ticks scheme, which was initially launched as a pilot scheme in September last year, including Gurinder Chadha’s Viceroy’s House, Andrea Arnold’s American Honey, Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom, Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire, and Colm McCarthy’s She Who Brings Gifts.

“Art itself is borne of diversity, of celebrating the different,” said BFI chief exec Amanda Nevill. “As our most accessible and powerful art form, film must reflect the society in which it is made and tell stories that speak to the many different people who exist within that society. That isn’t an optional extra or a nice to have – it’s a moral and social imperative and, by ensuring audiences are served with films they want to see, it also makes good business sense.”

BFI Diversity Manager, Deborah Williams, has undertaken an audit of the Three Ticks pilot ever since she first joined the organization in June this year. All projects supported with Lottery funding through the BFI Film Fund will now be subject to the BFI Diversity Standards, as will those supported through BFI funded partners. The BFI Diversity Standards require applicants to the BFI Film Fund to demonstrate how their project will succeed in tackling underrepresentation across four areas of their project, with at least one tick needed in a minimum of two areas out of the following:  On Screen Representation, Themes & Narratives; Creative Practitioners & Artistic Leadership;  Industry Access & Opportunities and Opportunities for Audience Development.