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BFI sets diversity rules for access to film funding

Taken from The Guardian article : 8/07/2014 by Andrew Pulver

Any film productions hoping to secure backing from the BFI Film Fund will have to satisfy requirements on diversity from September 2014 onwards, it has been announced.

The BFI plans to introduce a “three ticks” system designed to assess individual projects’ commitment to widening diversity in both the content of the film and the behind-the-camera team. These include “demonstrable opportunities” for trainees and interns to “progress with their careers”, “diverse” key creatives with “at least two heads of department from diverse backgrounds”, and “characters positively reflecting diversity, at least 30% of supporting and background characters positively reflecting diversity”.

In its attached criteria, the BFI defines diversity in subject matter as “identity relating to ethnicity or national origins, a specific focus on women, people with disabilities, sexual identity, age and people from a socially disadvantaged background … (and) where the film attaches value to those aspects or dimensions of self and/or community identity in relation to religion or beliefs”. Characteristics of crew members defined as “diverse” include “ethnicity (Black, Asian, and minority ethnic), disability, sexual identity, gender or from a socially disadvantaged background”.

In practice, film-makers will have to demonstrate acceptability in two out of the three “ticks”. Recently released films cited by the BFI as meeting this standard include: Belle, The Selfish Giant, Philomena and Calvary, while upcoming projects Pride and Suffragette also gained approval.

The policy has been endorsed by trade body Pact (Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television) and campaign group Creative Access, which aims to reduce the under-representation of ethnic minorities in the media.

Ben Roberts, director of the BFI Film Fund, said in a statement: “The ‘three ticks’ approach incentivises good practice and helps to embed diversity across every area of a film’s production, whilst being flexible enough to allow productions to make positive choices. Ideally we want to see the industry embracing the three ticks approach to ensure that the most talented are able to progress and succeed, whatever their background.”

For the BFI Guidlines PDF:


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