In Screen Culture 2033 and our BFI National Lottery Strategy we set out the integral role public funding plays in the UK’s screen sector and the objectives that will guide BFI National Lottery funding decisions over the next 10 years.
This funding plan is designed to be read alongside these documents and outlines the BFI National Lottery funds and programmes we will run over the next three years from April 2023 to March 2026 to deliver against these objectives.
The BFI National Lottery Funding Plan was developed during a 13-month period in which we consulted extensively to understand public and UK screen sector priorities for the next 10 years. It is the first of a series of shorter funding plans that we will run over the strategy period. Running shorter plans means we can adapt our support for UK screen culture as both audience behaviours and the sector continue to evolve. This will ensure BFI National Lottery funding is being invested as effectively as possible, delivering the greatest possible benefit to both the public and the sector.
Our available BFI National Lottery funding from 2023–2026 will be around £45m a year. This is approximately 10% lower than during the previous three year period under BFI2022. As a result, it is even more important that every investment we make delivers impact on behalf of the public.
We will only ever invest where there is clear evidence of need, absence of sufficient commercial funding, and clear benefit to the public. This is particularly important at a time when independent film faces financial challenges on a number of fronts.
BFI National Lottery funding has historically focused primarily on independent film. We took initial steps into supporting XR over the BFI2022 strategy period. The rapid evolution of moving image storytelling and the convergence of film with forms including television, video games, and interactive and immersive technologies means BFI National Lottery funding may have a broader role to play in future. In this funding plan, we further integrate XR into our programmes, with support available in areas such as production, audience development, and research. We will also deliver more targeted interventions for video games, including work to deliver a review of the video games skills base.