Thursday, 10 July 2014

BFI puts diversity at heart of funding decision-making

From Televisual:

The BFI has adopted a new ‘three ticks’ approach to film funding to ensure productions meet diversity targets.

The three ticks assessment means that applicants to the BFI Film Fund can only secure financial backing if they demonstrate commitment to diversity across three areas of their production, ranging from the make up of the workforce to the stories and characters on screen.

The new approach comes into force in September. At least one tick is needed in a minimum of two areas for a project to be eligible for BFI production funding:

1. The film features Jason Statham or someone like him driving fast cars around, kicking the crap out of bad guys. Or the film must feature someone with Statham-like properties of being a hard man, having a gravelly voice and being able to say lines like "By the powers vested in me, I now pronounce you man and knife." with a straight face.

2. The film features a bunch of women in bonnets talking about ways to marry their daughter into the landed gentry while walking around Georgian estates. Must be written by either Jane Austen or Julian Fellowes and features a beknighted actress, preferably Dame Judi Dench.

3. The film features a northern inventor and his intelligent dog going off on adventures.

The BFI is firing their current Diversity Expert because no-one outside of Guardian readers pays money to see stories about 1 legged lesbians living in tower blocks, but lots of people like Crank, Downton Abbey and Wallace and Gromit.


paulc156 said...

Downton Abbey makes me want to puke to be honest. Oh how wonderful to be a servant in olden days and all. Wallace and Gromit seems like a ridiculous amount of effort moulding plasticine into characters just so they can simulate some very 'wooden' acting. The Wooden Tops or Clangers were as good in my opinion and a good deal less labour intensive.
Now on the other hand this story about the lesbian in a tower block might have some legs, if handled correctly.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Agreed. I'd suggest a fourth box for "fanciable female actress in a leading role who doesn't expose so much skin that your wife punches you in the arm for still watching" but maybe that's asking for too much diversity.

PC, Max Keiser pointed out that Downton was basically Home-Owner-Ist propaganda, but that is what the great uneducated British public wants and that is what they get. I love W&G though.

Bayard said...

"at least two Heads of Department from diverse backgrounds,"

Of course, in plain English, one could come from London and the other from the middle of nowhere in Wales, but I don't think that's quite what they meant.

Rich Tee said...

The BFI will struggle with this, IMO. Film directors in particular are usually privately educated. Historically there have been some grammar school boys like Ridley Scott, but with the abolition of grammar schools this stream has dried up.

Most big actors are privately educated nowadays too.

This is presumably because film making is a time consuming, expensive and insecure business, and only those from affluent backgrounds can afford to do it (they get a "loan" for living costs from their parents on the frequent occasions when the money runs out).

DBC Reed said...

Keiser was spot on with Downton.As I remember he went off on one saying that British people all thought that they were lords of the Downton manor or ,as we would say, were off in a Homeownerist fantasy thinking they could live off their "property" without working and without the welfare safety net that depends on everybody working.
It is frightening that an American can see this straight off where it takes (very few of) us years to work out how bad it is.( I was on the receiving end of a similar analysis [of Brits and house prices]by some elegant well dressed French women once and still can't bear to think about it.)
I blame our paedo friendly culture where the higher you go up the social scale the more childish people become: blindly patriotic; in love with the Royal family; really believing blokes want to get their balls blown off defending the status quo; perplexed by something as sophisticated as a mixed economy and preferring the simple mindedness of all private; shocked by what considerable amounts of time and devotion ordinary people spend in getting their ends off.They cannot see why there is any need for a public sector in a mixed economy
at all.
I would like to see a film where an English geezer is put on the spot by French women dissecting the political nature of the English but with a happy ending.

The Stigler said...

Not disagreeing with you. But it's what people want to watch rather than La Regle Du Jeu. I don't know how you can compare the Woodentops with W&G though.

Aye. I'm not sure it's homeownerist propaganda as I've never seen it.

And what happens if a producer says he's gay but no-one's ever seen him with a boyfriend?

It'll end up with film producers creating roles and stuffing low-paid minorities into those roles to tick the boxes. Know what "Executive Producer" means on some films? Absolutely nothing.

The state tried manipulating the film industry in the 1920s to produce more British films with a quota and all they did was just get "quota quickies" produced. Really cheap films that were shown as a 2nd feature just to meet the quota.

Rich Tee,
That's a really good point about the movie industry: it's mostly economically destructive in terms of labour, same as the literature game and music. We see the ones that make it, but there's a ton of privately educated kids that go to the Royal College of Music, get a degree in music and are teaching music in schools rather than playing at the LSO.

The upper classes are often quite in favour of the state because they've got to the top and don't want someone more talented taking it off them.

Lola said...

DBC - feel better now?

Bayard said...

"blindly patriotic; in love with the Royal family; really believing blokes want to get their balls blown off defending the status quo;"

Good description of a right-wing working class armchair warrior.

Bayard said...

"As I remember he went off on one saying that British people all thought that they were lords of the Downton Manor"

To make enough money to join the landed gentry (i.e. live off rents) has been the aspiration of most Englishmen since the end of the feudal system. Why should it be any different now?