Research and Statistics Fund FAQ

Frequently asked questions about the Research and Statistics Fund.

Why is the BFI doing this?

The BFI is undertaking this in order to enhance the quality and range of research and statistical information about film and the UK film industry. In order to do this we have increased the funding available for research into the UK film industry and the cultural value of film and we are confident that we can grow this further by attracting a new research partner to work with us.

What are the gaps in research that the Research and Statistics Programme will address?

Please see sections 3 and 4 of the BFI Film Research & Statistics Fund 2013-2017 Guidelines for Applicants document which highlight Outcomes and Deliverables respectively.

What are the benefits to the film industry?

Up to date research and knowledge is integral to future proofing film and providing industry with improved knowledge of the UK and international markets, improved knowledge of audience preferences in the multi-platform world and research findings to assist the development of new business models.

What are the benefits to teachers and lecturers?

Improved knowledge of the cultural and educational contribution of film and of the interaction between the economic and cultural aspects of film.

Will the Research and Statistics Unit (RSU) still offer bespoke advice to the film industry and wider research/education/public free of charge, as it currently does?

It is the intention that the services provided by the RSU will continue.

Will the RSU still publish UK and RoI box office results on Wednesdays?

It is the intention that this service will continue.

Will this still be on bfi.org.uk or now in another place?

Most likely both, but more information will follow. We will ensure that all information is well signposted.

I’m a research organisation with no film expertise – can I apply?

Applicants should have considerable research expertise including delivering multi-year research programmes. They should also have direct links to film industry experts. They do not have to have film expertise to apply.

If an organisation with no film expertise becomes the partner, how will the BFI ensure the research priorities will be relevant to the film community’s needs?

The successful applicant will have either film expertise or direct links to film experts. In addition, the applicant will also be supported by a newly formed Research & Statistics Advisory Committee with membership drawn from a broad range of film sector stakeholders, representing the cultural, educational and industrial interests of the sector.

Will the film community still be able to rely on RSU’s impartiality, even if it is outsourced to a commercial company?

Absolutely. It is crucial to the BFI that the successful applicant has a high level of integrity and credibility to ensure both its actual and perceived independence and trustworthiness.

If a commercial company wins the contract, how will the BFI ensure this doesn’t give them a competitive advantage in the marketplace?

We are looking to make the award to an applicant that will enhance the benefits to the wider film sector and not for corporate gain. Any income generated will be shared with the BFI and reinvested as Lottery Funding.

Please clarify the disparity from the above query regarding the Research Fund not being for corporate gain, in contrast with the emphasis on generating income for the Fund.

The rationale for the Fund for the Fund is to develop a knowledge and research base ultimately for the wider public benefit and not the awardee’s private gain. Within that there is, of course, the potential that some of the activities have income generating potential and where that is the case, we would expect that the income is either shared on an agreed basis or reinvested into the Research Fund pot.

It has been stated that a single applicant may apply but also that a consortium is acceptable. Is a consortium acceptable as long as it creates a single entity to bid? Would this entity need to be an established company?

We are looking to make one award. The applicant would be the organisation making the application and which would be in receipt of and responsible for the funding. In the case of a consortium, we would expect this to be the lead applicant.

What is the expected start date for the Programme? If this is before 31 March 2014, will the full £1m be allocated with the successful applicant being required to reimburse the BFI for 2013/14 costs of the RSU?

The expected start date will depend on conversations with the successful applicant and the contract process. The actual award will be minus any costs of the RSU that the BFI has already met for 2013/14 (up to £420k).

Does the Award need to be split equally across all four years?

The spend profile of the award will be dependent on the needs identified by the successful applicant’s projected timeline and cashflow for the programme. It is not expected that this will necessarily be equally spread across the years.

The second paragraph of Section 5 states that any income from the Programme is either to be reinvested in research or allocated on a pro-rata basis. Please would you provide more details regarding how this would be calculated, and whether there is a requirement for income allocation to apply to any activity associated with the successful bidder running the programme?

Should the BFI funded activities lead to a scale of activity that generates a surplus over and above costs then in order to secure value to the public funding provided the BFI would seek that such a surplus is either reinvested in research and statistics or that up to 25% is returned to the BFI. We would seek to agree a more detailed approach with the successful applicant.

Is there any favour given to those that offer higher matched funds?

All applications will be assessed under the criteria set out in 7.2. Match funding is, of course, a consideration, but it is not the sole consideration.

Applicants must be based in the UK; however, should a foreign company have a trading arm based in the UK as a registered company, is it still eligible?

Yes – this does meet the eligibility criteria.

What happens post 2017? Is the BFI committed to continuing funding film research and statistics after that date?

The effectiveness of the BFI and the success of the UK film industry will always depend on having a robust evidence base of solid research and statistics. All BFI Lottery Funding programmes, including the Research & Statistics Fund, run to 2017 and they will all be reviewed ahead of 2017 after which we will decide our future priorities.

What happens post 2017? Is the BFI committed to continuing funding film research and statistics after that date?

The effectiveness of the BFI and the success of the UK film industry will always depend on having a robust evidence base of solid research and statistics. All BFI Lottery Funding programmes, including the Research & Statistics Fund, run to 2017 and they will all be reviewed ahead of 2017 after which we will decide our future priorities.

Will the new partner take on responsibility for liaising with government about the official statistics releases?

In accordance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics, the responsibility for official statistics and liaison with Government about official statistics will pass to the statistical Head of Profession of the new fund, which will continue to release official statistics in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007, observing the requirements of independence and impartiality.

Will the BFI continue to advocate for the film community based on the statistical findings, or will the new partner organisation now share some of this advocacy role?

The BFI is the lead organisation for film and will continue its lead advocacy role with Government.

If you have any queries not addressed on this list, please email researchfundinfo@bfi.org.uk.

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