About friends of the British Film Institute
The Friends of the BFI is a California-based US 501(c)(3) non-profit organisation that supports the work of the BFI in the UK and the US. Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
The Friends of the BFI grants essential funding in support of the BFI National Archive, one of the greatest collections of film in the world. With over one million film and television titles from 1895 to today, its collections include the original camera negatives of some of Britain’s best loved films, including Alfred Hitchcock’s Blackmail (1929), and Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s The Red Shoes (1948). With more than 20,000 silent films, it is also one of the most extensive archives of early cinema, and the largest collection of American silent films outside the US.
Film is an extremely fragile medium and the BFI spends over $14m a year just to maintain the collections, which require expensive specialist care and optimum storage conditions. Additionally, each year, our film restoration program brings back to life films that would otherwise not be seen, from Hitchcock’s nine surviving silent films to The Epic of Everest, the original documentary of Mallory and Irvine’s 1924 British expedition to Mount Everest. The BFI is also committed to digitising 10,000 archive titles to bring our collections to new audiences in cinemas, on television, on DVD and online.
US event programme
The Friends of the BFI hosts regular events in the US, with a current focus on San Francisco. We launched the Friends of the BFI new patron programme in late 2014 with an exclusive preview of Mr. Turner (Dir. Mike Leigh. UK 2014) , attended by the film’s Oscar-nominated lead, Timothy Spall. Our second event, in partnership with the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, was a special live screening of The Ghost Train, a rare 1927 silent film from the BFI’s Archive collections.
In October 2015 we returned to San Francisco with a private preview of Suffragette (Dir. Sarah Gavron. UK. 2015) with a Q&A with the film’s producer Alison Owen (Elizabeth, Jane Eyre, The Other Boleyn Girl, and Saving Mr Banks). Screened ahead of its US release and just days after its European début at Opening Night Gala of the 59th BFI London Film Festival, Suffragette was made with support from the BFI Film Fund and is the first feature film to tell the story of the ordinary British women who risked everything in the fight for equality and the right to vote. The film stars Carey Mulligan alongside Helena Bonham Carter, Anne-Marie Duff, Romola Garai, Natalie Press, and Meryl Streep. The Friends of the BFI would like to thank Dolby Laboratories, Inc. and Focus Features for their support of the evening.
We would like to take this opportunity to give particular thanks to our Friends of the BFI supporters:
Join as a patron
For a minimum donation of $2,000 you can enjoy a package of Patron benefits that includes:
- Invitations for you and a guest to 2 Friends of the BFI events per year in the US
- Invitation for you and a guest to a red carpet Gala during the BFI London Film Festival
- Invitation to purchase BFI London Film Festival package (extra costs apply)
- Invitation to join the BFI’s annual trip(s) to international film festivals (extra costs apply)
- Regular updates from the Friends of the BFI
- Acknowledgment of your support
Download a donation form
For more information, or to find other ways you can support the Friends of the BFI, please contact Claire Alfrey:
+44 (0) 20 7815 1400
Friends of the British Film Institute is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Donations to it are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. EIN: 95-4334449.