BFI Launches International Strategy to boost UK Film


Screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s Blackmail at the 2013 Shanghai International Film Festival
Credit: British Council

The BFI’s International Strategy aims to help UK film achieve maximum economic growth and cultural reach. The strategy is the result of detailed consultation and research with the BFI’s partner agencies and industry stakeholders.

The International Strategy is underpinned by a budget of £1.5m per annum for the duration of Film Forever, the BFI’s five year plan which runs to 2017.

We identified a number of key areas for support and intervention on which the BFI will lead, and which will encompass and inform the activity of our funded partners and other agencies.

Key areas for support and intervention

Inward investment

The BFI funds – and works in partnership with – the British Film Commission (BFC), and film agencies across the UK, to deliver economic growth through investment in the UK.

The International Strategy has committed £200k per annum to support the BFC in attracting film inward investment from the US. This is in addition to £400k Grant in Aid funding from the BFI, and a further £200k from UK Trade & Investment to help it attract TV inward investment and, possibly, film inward investment from emerging markets.


The BFI International Strategy is committed to growing the value of UK Film exports year on year.

The BFI International Strategy builds on a number of interventions to understand and enhance the value of UK Film exports. These include the BFI Film Export Fund, the unified UK brand We Are UK Film and support for the UK film presence at festivals and markets such as Berlin International Film Festival, FILMART, Cannes International Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival.

Territory-specific initiatives will be undertaken from time to time and calls for participants announced here.


An effective co-production landscape enhances opportunities for growth as it opens up streams of international finance, removes trade barriers, and increases audience.

As of 1 April 2013, the BFI Film Fund has committed up to £1m per annum to encourage creative excellence in co-production where the majority creative input comes from outside the UK. Priority will be given to projects where:

  • A world-class, non-British filmmaker wishes to engage with UK talent or cultural content.
  • UK involvement enhances the international appeal of an exceptional project that has been originated outside of the UK.
  • An international project gives an opportunity to an outstanding, emerging talent from the UK.

The BFI Film Fund accepts applications for British qualifying co-productions through thestandard process.

Further information on co-production treaties and UK tax relief.

Cultural exchange

Film has a powerful ability to open windows of understanding on another cultures, open hearts and minds, and effect change.

The International Strategy will help maximise the cultural, creative and diplomatic impact of our cultural programme through greater co-ordination with our partner agencies, and increased resource to help increase the scope of the BFI’s international cultural exchange activity.

Audiovisual policy

The international political and regulatory environment has a huge impact on the conditions for success and growth in film.

Through effective engagement with its partner agencies and government departments, both in the UK and internationally, the BFI will continue to lead on key issues such as IP protection and State Aid.

Further information on policy and strategy

Skills and talent

The BFI will work in partnership with Creative Skillset and partner agencies to identify and develop the best of UK’s film talent and skills base, equipping it to compete, innovate and lead in a global environment.

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