British Film Institute Outlines $5.7M COVID-19 Support Measures


The British Film Institute has outlined the measures it has put in place to support the national industry during the coronavirus crisis.

Adding to the previously announced £500,000 ($620,000) donation to the UK’s $3m COVID-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund are several new pots aimed to bolster different parts of the biz:

  • $2.5M will be made available for independent UK productions interrupted by COVID-19 to help cover unexpected additional production costs to ensure productions are in the best position to resume when practical.
  • $1.6M is being repurposed from the BFI Film Audience Network’s National Lottery funding to help exhibitors and festivals that have faced closure and cancellation due to the virus, with applications being taken via the org’s local film hubs.
  • $1M will go towards salary for crew working on current BFI-funded features that were interrupted by the pandemic, so that those employed can be paid a full two weeks notice.

The BFI has also adjusted criteria for its development funds to suit the crisis, and has opened up its Locked Box initiative (which holds returns from BFI-funded projects for future work) so that beneficiaries can access the money for hardship means during the next six months.

The org added that its key funds remain “active and open for business”, and is taking applications for production funding, as well as its Young Audience Content Fund. In total, the BFI has $27M for production and development funding in this financial year.

The impact of the COVID-19 crisis has been devastating and far reaching, and we are working with colleagues across the industry to support those who have been hardest hit, and ensuring that we thrive as we recover,” said BFI CEO Ben Roberts. “We remain in close collaboration with government and a wide range of partners through the Screen Sector Task Force, through which we have already helped to shape measures introduced to support our industry. The government has been really supportive throughout this process, and while this vital work continues, we are also focused on developing a strategy for our recovery.”

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