1. Strategy
  2. National Lottery Strategy
  3. Objective 1: Experiencing screen culture

Objective 1: Experiencing screen culture

Everyone can experience a rich range of screen culture

We believe society needs stories. Experiencing them on screen brings them to life, helping us all to see the world through different lenses and better understand each other. We will use National Lottery funding to improve opportunities to access and experience screen culture. This includes digitally, at home, and in cinemas and other physical locations.

This objective considers the value that people draw from screen culture as audience members and participants. This could be pure enjoyment and escapism, learning new things, or encountering different perspectives on the world. People might use it to socialise and come together with their local community for shared experiences, or to keep themselves company at home. The way people value screen culture varies widely.

National Lottery funding can help widen the range of screen culture available to people across the UK, both in venues and online. This includes work reflecting the diversity of the UK population, but also variety in genre, period and provenance. It includes other factors too, such as experimental works and those that take creative risks. Funding can help audiences connect with a rich range of titles, including through the work of diverse and inclusive programming teams. This includes contemporary and classic titles, both domestic and international; heritage and archive collections; video games, interactive and immersive; and works in emerging formats too.

This objective also considers the cultural lives of children and young people, both at home and in venues. Early encounters help children develop a lifelong relationship with film and the moving image.  They also help children cultivate screen literacy skills too. Such skills are essential in the digital age and play a vital role in developing the screen workforce of the future.

The BFI will need to work with a whole range of organisations to deliver this objective. This includes (but is not limited to) schools and education providers; cinemas; festivals; broadcaster; exhibitors; archives and other heritage organisations; those working in the community; local government; national and regional screen agencies; and strategic funded partners. As with every area of work, we will look to deliver for people right across the UK of all ages, religions or beliefs, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, working class backgrounds, as well as disabled people, those with a longstanding physical or mental condition and those identifying as D/deaf or neurodiverse.

1.1 Children and young people are empowered to develop their own relationships with a wider range of screen culture, including through education

It is easier than ever for many people to access screen culture – from film, television and streamers, to video games and user-generated content. National Lottery funding can help people to expand their horizons and enable them to develop a relationship with a wider range of work. It can also help them to access screen culture that they do not usually encounter. This might happen at home, in venues, or in formal learning environments like schools.

National Lottery funding can also play a particular role in helping children and young people to cultivate their personal relationship with screen culture. Funding can help them to develop their critical skills, and to discover what screen culture means to them. It can help them develop the digital skills they need to navigate work safely, giving them access to a greater range of titles to explore. It can also help give them a say on the kind of work on offer to them. Activity might focus on distinctive new work for children and young people that reflects life across the UK and around the world; classic cinema and games; niche or experimental pieces; heritage film and television; and far beyond.

National Lottery funding can also help enable excellent teaching using film and the moving image. It can support improved educational outcomes across different subjects. Screen literacy is going to become ever more important in our everyday lives too. But it is important to recognise that screen is integrated into the curriculum to different extents across the four nations of the UK. Funds and programmes will need to respond to this, responding to the needs of teachers and students everywhere.

This outcome works with outcomes 2.1 & 3.1 to provide holistic screen education, as well as helping to secure a pipeline of talent into the sector.

1.2 People across the UK can access a wider choice of film and the moving image including stories that reflect their lives

Everyone should have the chance to access the greatest possible choice of moving image storytelling. This includes classic and international cinema, new titles from emerging creatives, games and work that takes creative risks. National Lottery funding can enable people to experience a rich range of this work. This includes through the work of diverse and inclusive programming teams. It can also help them to develop a relationship with work which resonates with them personally. This includes in shared settings such as cinemas and festivals, or at home via digital platforms.

1.3 Funding helps to tackle social, economic, and geographic barriers for screen audiences in new and effective ways

People from different backgrounds across the UK face different barriers to accessing screen culture, both in physical locations and via digital platforms.  This might include a lack of accessible screenings in the local area, preclusive costs, or inconsistent availability of audio description and subtitling. National Lottery funding can help address these issues. It can also create more inclusive spaces and address historical perceptions of independent film and cinemas as middle-class spaces. We will also explore how funding can better access work at home and in venues, helping combat loneliness and social isolation.

We do not have capital funds to invest in developing physical spaces, but will look to support work in this area through our policy and advocacy. You can read more on our advocacy work in our Corporate Strategy.

1.4 More people can engage with heritage collections that better reflect the diversity of the UK

Funding can help organisations to care for existing heritage collections and make them available to the public. It can also help them collect and care for work being made today. This helps make sure future generations can benefit from work that reflects UK life in the present, as well as our most creatively distinct work.

National Lottery funding can also support organisations to make work available in a variety of ways.  It might be via exhibitions in venues or on digital platforms; for children and young people in both formal and informal settings; or by allowing creators of all ages to creatively reuse heritage pieces in new work that reimagines how they are encountered by the public. This work can support R&D into how new audiences connect with screen culture in brand new ways in the future.