1. Strategy
  2. Setting the scene
  3. About the BFI

About the BFI

The BFI was founded in 1933 and is governed by our Royal Charter. Over the past 90 years we have grown in our role as a cultural charity, a distributor of National Lottery funds and as the UK Government’s lead body for film and the moving image.

We are a community of over 700 people who are passionate and knowledgeable about film, television and the moving image. And we are committed to ensuring a positive and accessible screen culture for all.

Our people work in one of the following areas:

  • Public Programmes & Audiences
  • Knowledge & Collections
  • Corporate & Industry Affairs
  • Technology & Digital Transformation
  • Fundraising & Enterprise
  • Finance, People & Business Operations
  • Chief Executive’s Office

We currently operate five sites:

BFI Southbank

Originally opened in 1957 as the UK’s National Film Theatre, this is our main public venue. It hosts four cinema screens, the BFI Reuben Library, our mediatheque, exhibition spaces, bars and restaurants.


Our iconic single-screen IMAX cinema contains the biggest screen in the UK at 20 by 26 metres. It is frequently one of the best-performing IMAX sites in the world.

BFI J Paul Getty Jnr Conservation Centre

The BFI National Archive’s main 11-acre site, at Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. It contains interconnected collections storage, laboratories and bespoke collections processing buildings.

BFI Master Film Store

Our 21-acre site in Warwickshire, near Gaydon, provides state-of- the-art storage facilities. It holds the national collection of film masters, as well as other key collections from our partners.

BFI Stephen Street

Our headquarters in central London since 1987, home to two viewing theatres and specialist research viewing facilities.

We actively recruit from across the UK and encourage our people to use any of our sites as creative places for collaboration, problem-solving and socialising. We believe everyone will choose the right environment and time for the work they do and when they need to do it.

As a registered charity, established by Royal Charter, we are governed by a Board of up to 15 Governors. They bring a range of business and creative insights, and contribute significant expertise from across the screen industries. They include representatives from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.