BFI National Archive People’s Advisory Panel

Find out about a new initiative that invites members of the public to contribute to the work of the BFI National Archive.

BFI National Archive People’s Advisory Panel

About the People’s Advisory Panel

The People’s Advisory Panel is a new initiative which will inform how we engage the public in the work we’ll be doing as part of Our Screen Heritage, a new BFI National Archive programme of activities and outputs supported by National Lottery via the BFI Screen Heritage Fund. We are looking for volunteers to take part.

Participants will learn about the work of the BFI National Archive and help shape plans for a Screen Archive of the Future

The panel will be drawn from a variety of backgrounds and communities across all nations and regions of the UK. This will be the first time the BFI National Archive has placed active public participation at the root of one of our funded programmes. It will create the principles and pillars to support a UK-wide programme of public activities and events that will help to unearth hidden screen stories from our communities.

Made up of 10 to 15 people, the panel will meet on a regular basis, sharing perspectives up to six times a year online and once a year in person. Members will be asked to make suggestions and propose new ideas on how we: 

  • bring national moving image collections meaningfully back into the community
  • engage the public as part of our core role as a contemporary ‘living’ archive, helping society curate and preserve stories
Recruitment for members of the 2024 People's Advisory Panel will launch at the end of May.

More details on the process and criteria will be provided here in coming weeks.

Our mission

Opening up the BFI National Archive is central to Our Screen Heritage.

We want to ensure that people across the UK see themselves reflected in the BFI’s collections, events and activities and that they can experience a great range of screen culture. Helping people understand the BFI National Archive’s role is central to developing that strategy.

Activity developed by the People’s Advisory Panel will:

  • boost understanding of what the BFI National Archive collects and why
  • explore the challenges that impact how we use the collections
  • move the BFI National Archive towards our ambitions for a Screen Archive of the Future

What the panel will help us achieve

The BFI National Archive wants to:  

  • improve understanding of how the UK public wants to engage with our film, TV and moving image collections
  • establish new ways of working with communities across the UK
  • explore what meaningful citizen participation and UK-wide public engagement look like for a Screen Archive of the Future
  • share community-rich and diverse stories across multiple platforms
  • support and increase UK-wide screen heritage activities
  • develop new partnerships across the UK

Help us shape the People’s Advisory Panel

From late-May, members of the public will be invited to apply, sharing how they meet the criteria and why they want to be part of the panel. Anyone with an interest in screen heritage, archives and community events will be eligible.

In the meantime, we are keen to hear from organisations interested in collaborating with us on this exciting initiative. To register your interest or to request further information please complete the following form by Friday 10 May 2024.

If you have any questions relating to the Our Screen Heritage project please email