The business of film
The business of film

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The business of film

1.3 Why should we support film?

This video clip features Ben Roberts, who is responsible for the Film Fund at the BFI. Ben discusses the BFI's support for film in the UK.

While you watch the clip, consider the notion of the cultural value of film. How much consideration should this value be given across the wider film industry? Should this be a factor when making decisions and taking action, and if so, how should this be done?

Depending on your particular knowledge and experiences, you may want to think about how this compares to other countries or other creative industries.

Download this video clip.Video player: Video 2 Ben Roberts, BFI Film Fund
Skip transcript: Video 2 Ben Roberts, BFI Film Fund

Transcript: Video 2 Ben Roberts, BFI Film Fund

What sometimes gets lost from the BFI's story is that we look after the largest film and television archive in the world. And that goes back 80 or more years, huge collection of films which are not just films and TV, which are not just British, but from around the world.
We re-present a lot of that work at the BFI Southbank, which is the national cinema tech on the Southbank in London. We run a film festival in London in the autumn. We run a lesbian and gay film festival in the spring. The broadest possible role of the BFI is to just make sure that the value of film, both its cultural value, what it says about us as people. What film is, is a record of life and moments in history, politics perhaps- is actually really interesting for all of us. When I came to the BFI, I was placed on the fifth floor in our building here in London, opposite the archive team.
So we sat next to each other, which reminded you every day that what you're doing in terms of contemporary film development and production, and developing new talent, was at some point going to need to sit alongside and justify itself in an archive, and continue to tell that story of culture and Britain through film.
End transcript: Video 2 Ben Roberts, BFI Film Fund
Video 2 Ben Roberts, BFI Film Fund
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Ben describes one example of how public money is used to support film in the UK. If you’re not in the UK, it’s more than likely that the country where you work or live will have such policies too. Many governments all over the world operate a mix of public funding and incentives designed to promote film. This topic will be explored in further detail later in the course during Week 4, which looks at how films are financed.


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