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BFI kickstarts million pound investment for new film talent

NEW INITIATIVE: BFI

AT THE House of Commons this evening, the Culture Secretary Karen Bradley, producer Barbara Broccoli, BFI Chair Josh Berger and BFI CEO Amanda Nevill launched Future Film Skills - An Action Plan to some of the biggest names in film and education.

The launch is a UK-wide call to the screen industries and education sector to support the new plan and for people with transferable skills and young people - especially those from under-represented groups, to join a booming industry, film, high-end TV, animation, VR and interactive media, that is recognised the world over for its highly skilled workforce and state of the art facilities.

A new BFI commissioned report released tonight reveals that there are significant opportunities for the film workforce with an estimated 10,000 new entrants to the industry needed and 30,000 job opportunities over the next five years.

Karen Bradley, Culture Secretary said: "The UK film industry is one of our biggest success stories and the films made here are loved by audiences around the world. For this to continue we need to nurture and foster the next generation of talent - both in front of, and behind the camera. The 10 point skills plan being launched today will be instrumental in helping to deliver this, as well as making sure that the films in the UK are truly representative of the UK's diverse society."

Barbara Broccoli, Producer, Eon Productions and Chair of the UK Film Skills Task Force, said: “We live in a diverse society and it is vital both culturally and commercially that our industry reflects this in front of and behind the camera. With industry, education and government uniting behind this new Film Skills Strategy and 10 Point Action Plan we know we will be able to increase the number of people working in film and ensure we have a representative workforce.”

This skills strategy is supported by Lucasfilm which has pioneered a pilot programme with the BFI placing 28 trainees - the majority of which are alumni of the BFI Film Academy, as paid trainees, working in various craft and technical roles across the Untitled Han Solo Project, currently in production at Pinewood Studios.

The Lucasfilm programme is an exemplar in industry-led youth training with a specific focus on inclusion and designed to provide opportunities to address under-representation in the workforce. On this programme 75% of the trainees are women, 45% come from BAME backgrounds, 68% were recruited outside Greater London, and 36% received free school meals. Some of the trainees spoke at the House of Commons event tonight (see Notes to Editors for quotes).

UK film is worth £4.3 billion to the economy and is the UK’s fastest growing sector. The UK film sector currently employs 66,000 people, over 70% of whom are employed in film and video production. Some parts of the sector such as VFX and animation have seen a rapid growth in the workforce, as the UK has cemented its position as a global centre for specialist talent and capabilities.

Based on these growth rates, Future Film Skills has identified multiple skills gaps across the sector - including key areas such as Production Department, Art Department, Construction, Electrical, Camera, Costume, Hair and Make-Up, Post-Production, and Visual Effects - and highlights the need for 10,000 new entrants to join the workforce in the next five years.

The BFI’s five year plan BFI2022 sets out a goal that allp producers active in the UK are encouraged to voluntarily adopt the BFI Diversity Standards which focus on disability, gender, race, age and sexual orientation (as they pertain to the Equality Act 2010) and also seek to ensure that people from lower socio-economic groups are better represented.

The Future Film Skills Action Plan will:
· Demystify getting into the film industry for young people with easy to access career advice and guidance on the right courses.

· Provide bursaries and support services enabling people from all backgrounds to get into the film industry.

· Open doors for those with appropriate skills (from carpenters to digital creatives) to move into the film industry.

· Set up specific schemes to encourage industry practitioners to share their knowledge and expertise.

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