BFI Launches New $17 Million National Lottery Audience Projects Fund

The BFI today published the full details of its new National Lottery Audience Projects Fund, a £15m ($17 Million) pool of cash available over three years to support growth in the UK exhibition and distribution sector to cultivate audiences for UK independent film and XR/broader screen work.

The open access fund was first unveiled in the BFI’s 10-year strategy ‘Screen Culture 2033’ and will support a range of audience-facing activities, including multi-year and research and development projects with a focus on projects aimed at growing the engagement of audiences that are representative of the UK population.

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The BFI has said the fund will expect to hand out awards between £20,000 and £200,000 depending on the scope and reach of a specific project, with an upper limit of £500,000 for projects of exceptional scale and ambition. To be eligible, applicants must have experience in film distribution, exhibition, or audience development activities in the UK. For research and development projects, applicants can apply for between £10,000 and £20,000.

Applications can be made from 4 November 2022 and funds are set to be awarded from April 2023.

Ben Luxford, BFI’s Head of UK Audiences, said: “At its simplest we want to connect great film and broader screen work with audiences, and to make sure audiences from all backgrounds across the UK can access and engage with a rich and diverse screen culture offer. We designed the fund so it is flexible and broad in scope and we encourage ambitious applications that are set to make an impact and address the priorities we identified with industry in our new strategy. We recognise our sector is facing numerous challenges and pressures, and with this Fund – part of our wider support for audiences over the next three years – we want to ensure National Lottery good cause funding gives organisations the opportunity to take risks to grow new audiences and to celebrate and champion fantastic screen culture.”

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