The full details of the BFI‘s new National Lottery Audience Projects Fund were released today. The fund is a £15m ($17 Million) pool of money available over three years to support growth in the UK exhibition and distribution sector with the aim of cultivating audiences for UK independent film and XR/broader screenwork.
The open access fund was first announced in the BFI’s 10-year strategy “Screen Culture 2033,” and it will support a wide variety of audience-facing activities, such as multi-year and research and development projects, with a particular emphasis on projects aimed at increasing the engagement of audiences that are representative of the population of the United Kingdom as a whole.
Awards from the fund are expected to range from £20,000 to £200,000, with a maximum of £500,000 for exceptionally large and ambitious projects, as stated by the BFI. A background in film distribution, exhibition, or audience development in the UK is required. Applications in the range of £10,000 to £20,000 can be submitted for R&D initiatives.
Funds will be distributed beginning in April 2023, with applications being accepted beginning on November 4, 2022.
According to Ben Luxford, the BFI’s Head of UK Audiences, “at its simplest we aim to connect great cinema 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’ve made it so the fund may be used in a variety of ways, and its reach is wide enough that we’ll consider bold proposals that will have a real impact and help us meet the priorities we’ve established with the business community as part of our new strategy. As part of our broader support for audiences over the next three years, we’ve established this Fund to make sure that organisations receiving National Lottery good cause funding have the freedom to take risks in order to attract new viewers and promote the best of the best in screen entertainment.