The BFI supports and conducts original research into contemporary UK film industry, production and audience; historical film and television production and industry; archival research into our film, television and other collections. 

As part of its BFI 2022 strategy, the BFI outlined its plan to spend £3 million to March 2022 to support data collection, analysis and research into the UK screen sectors, audiences and the wider cultural and economic value of the moving image.

The aim of the Research and Statistics Fund is to provide independent, trusted and rigorous evidence for use by the screen sectors which would otherwise not exist and ensure this is publicly available. This research is needed to support and develop a vibrant UK screen sector to benefit economically and culturally from telling British stories and developing British talent. The screen sector is changing rapidly and we have a responsibility to maximise our understanding of the nature and implications of these changed by publishing evidence on patterns of change and facilitating related discussions, debate and associated policy development.

BFI is currently hosting Bartolomeo Meletti (Univ. of Glasgow) on a 18-month secondment to the BFI Education department in his capacity as Copyright Education Creative Director. Conducting AHRC-funded research on the copyright knowledge needs of young filmmakers, film archivists, teachers and students, with a view to producing responsive, sector-specific copyright guidance.

Activities already undertaken by the Research and Statistics Fund include research into:

  • The impacts of leaving the EU on the UK screen
  • Workforce diversity in the screen sector
  • The economic contribution of the UK’s film, high-end television, children’s television, and the animation, visual effects and video game sectors

Key priority areas identified by the Research and Statistics Fund External Advisory Group include:

  • As the UK prepares to leave the EU, update the research on priority international territories for UK screen sector exports
  • The economic case for workforce diversity
  • The cultural value of the moving image
  • Better statistics on screen sector employment and skills
  • Address the gaps in our knowledge of subscription Video on Demand (SVoD) by commissioning new audience research
  • Enhance the granularity of geographic data across the value chain

Recent collaborative projects involving BFI curators include:

  • Music Video: Portsmouth University-led project
  • Transition to Sound: AHRC-funded collaboration with Laraine Porter (De Montfort)
  •  Jill Craigie: (collaboration with UEA and Sussex) proposed AHRC-funded project on documentarist Jill Craigie and women filmmakers
  •  Archaeology of Fashion Film: supporting Central St. Martins' AHRC-funded project focusing on 1895-1929