BFI FAN Announces Covid-19 Resilience Fund

The BFI has announced a programme of support worth £4.6m ($5.7m) to aid the UK film sector, which has been badly affected by the Covid-19 crisis.

The re-purposed National Lottery funding will target specific areas of the sector including exhibitors, freelancers and producers. It comprises:

BFI-funded projects will be given flexibility on the scheduling of payments to support cash flow, and on delivery against activity targets. This applies to the 28 exhibitors, festivals, distributors and archives who received £3.8m ($4.7m) through the Audience Fund Organisational Awards in March.

The BFI has also adjusted its criteria on existing schemes. This includes the annual £2.5m ($3.1m) Development Fund, which now offers greater flexibility in the scheduling of payments and frontloading fees, and can now cash flow funds up to 80% for each step.

A portion of BFI Locked Box funds, previously only accessible for future project development, production or training, will now be made available to support overheads to help protect businesses during the next six months.

All of the BFI’s existing funds for shorts, features and talent development funds – which total £21.9m ($27.2m) in 2020/21 – are still operating, including production funding; the £2m ($2.5m) Vision Awards, set to be announced this month; and the Young Audience Content Fund.

In a statement, BFI chief executive Ben Roberts said:

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.

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.

For more information, see our support page where guidelines and application processes will be released next week.