Much has changed since this series began. It was unclear at the time of the first post whether publicly funded film research of the kind undertaken by the UK Film Council had any real future. Now it seems there’s reason for hope.
I’ve been told research was one of the topics discussed at the first Ministerial Film Forum chaired by Ed Vaizey. Meanwhile, attendees at last Thursday’s BSAC Film Conference learned the UK Film Council Research & Statistics Unit (RSU) is transferring to the BFI. This is a welcome development, for all the reasons given by contributors to earlier posts.
More dispiriting is news there’s no money attached to the transfer, which means the BFI’s shrinking pot will have to be further eked out. Unfortunately, research is an expensive business. The last UK Film Council three-year plan earmarked £500k for the task, a figure that looks fancifully high now. To do a half-decent job you’d need a low six-figure sum annually…but even that looks like a stretch too far in the present circumstances.