The BFI Distribution Fund – a remodelled version of the former P&A Fund – will have a budget of £4m per year, and will support the distribution of high quality British independent and specialised film. It will help these films find new and larger audiences across all areas of the UK, with particular focus outside of London.
The Fund will encourage distributors to take full advantage of the opportunities that digital technologies present to explore innovative ways to bring films to audiences, both in cinemas and across additional platforms. It is hoped that, in this way, the Fund will support the UK industry in fostering new models for growth in this digital age.
“Distribution of independent and speciailist films in the UK still carries a high degree of financial risk, which can make ambitious release programmes challenging, especially for independent distributors,” comments Ben Roberts, Director of the BFI Film Fund. “By sharing some of that risk and encouraging distributors to be bold and creative in their approach, the BFI Distribution Fund will be key to helping us increase choice and bring great films to audiences across the UK.”
The Distribution Fund is comprised of four strands designed to meet the needs of different types of films, and their release strategies. They are:
*Will provide significant awards of £250 – £300k, to take high quality independent British films with ‘commercial appeal and strong marketable elements’ to a wide UK audience
*Distributors will contribute at least 50 per cent of total prints and advertising costs
*BFI funding will enhance scale and scope of distribution strategy across all regions of the UK
*Will provide funding awards of around £100 – £150k to increase the audience reach for ‘exemplary independent UK and specialised films’
*Will ensure that ‘critically acclaimed films with audience appeal and strong marketable elements’ can be seen on more screens, particularly outside London.
*Will ‘encourage and support new thinking in distribution and marketing through experimental and ambition releases that explore new opportunities outside traditional theatrical and marketing routes.’
*Will support the distribution of high-quality new British films as part of a multiplatform release and/or using marketing strategies and audience-building opportunities through cross-media
*Date and findings from these releases will be compiled in order to help the UK industry explore new distribution models.
Sleepers (Pilot Strand)
*Will provide ‘flexible, agile and responsive support for in-release films that have achieve exceptional weekend box office results and taken the market by surprise.’
*Opening weekend performance will be assessed, and certain distributors invited to apply for ‘fast-track’ awards of around £20 – £40l to help films capitalise on unexpected strong performance and roll out to further audiences particularly at regional level.