£20m national lottery investment opens the recruitment doors to the British film industry


Did you know that the three top-grossing films in the UK last year were made in the UK? Well they were. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them and Bridget Jones’ Baby were all made right here. And that’s largely down to the generous tax breaks on offer, making the UK a film-making destination of choice.

In fact, UK film is now worth £4.3billion to the economy and is the UK’s fastest growing sector. And whilst over 70% of the 66,000 people currently employed in this sector work in film and video production (with VFX and animation seeing accelerated growth in recent years), there’s a whole host of careers behind the ‘lights, camera and action’ who make it all happen.

There are opportunities in everything from the art department, to construction, electrical, camera, costume, hair and make-up, post-production, visual effects and accounting. And a new British Film Institute (BFI) report reveals that 10,000 new entrants over the next five years will be needed to keep up with growth, with some 30,000 overall opportunities being created in that same time period.

But there’s a but. And the but is this. There is a motion in the industry to address the lack of representation and inclusion in the workforce, as well as a drive to provide opportunity for everyone to consider a career in film, no matter what their background.

That’s why a £20m BFI national lottery investment is going to be put towards kickstarting a new 10 point action plan, called The Future Film Skills Action Plan, to help support thousands gain the skills they need to enter this exciting sector. It aims to demystify getting into the film industry for younger people; provide bursaries and support services; open doors to those with appropriate skills and to set up specific schemes to encourage industry experts to share their knowledge.

This inspired initiative was launched on Wednesday 28th June 2017 at the House of Commons by Producer – Barbara Broccoli, Culture Secretary – Karen Bradley, BFI Chair – Josh Berger and BFI CEO – Amanda Nevill, to some of the biggest names in film and education.

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.”

Amanda Nevill, CEO BFI said: “We are on the cusp of a huge opportunity to bring thousands more into this dynamic industry where there is a genuine need for more skilled workers – from hairdressers to accountants, software developers to model makers. They also need to learn and develop their skills from the best, so we call upon everyone in the industry to help us make this a reality. This is not a ‘nice to have’ but an ‘urgent must’ if we are to achieve the growth potential for UK film that is in front of us.”

Lucasfim has already pioneered a pilot programme with the BFI placing 28 trainees in various craft and technical roles across the Untitled Han Solo Project, currently in production at Pinewood Studios. 75% of the trainees are women, 45% come from BAME backgrounds, 68% were recruited outside Greater London, and 36% received free school meals.

"This initiative is meaningful for both Lucasfilm and the film industry at large," says Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. "Diversity is just as important behind the scenes as it is on the screen. More points of view, more perspectives, and more voices will only make films better."

With this kind of backing, it certainly seems that we’re set for an increasingly positive future for UK Film. It’s great for the economy; great for a new generation of employees (as well as those with transferable skills) within the industry and, ultimately, great for us cinemagoers too.

For more information, please visit www.bfi.org.uk/FilmSkills

 

Thursday, 29 June 2017

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