About the Friends of the British Film Institute

The Friends of the BFI is a California-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organisation that supports the work of the BFI around the world. The BFI’s mission is to preserve, protect and promote the widest range of film, for the benefit of everyone, everywhere. At its heart is the BFI National Archive, one of the greatest collections of film in the world. It is the BFI’s privilege and responsibility to care for this precious resource and ensure that the archive’s wonders are preserved for and shared with film lovers the world over.

With over one million film and television titles from 1895 to the present day, the collections include original camera negatives of some of the most significant achievements in the history of cinema, including Alfred Hitchcock’s Blackmail (1929) and Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s The Red Shoes (1948). The archive also contains more than 20,000 silent films, and the largest collection of American silent films outside the US.

Film is an extremely fragile medium, and the BFI spends $14m a year just to maintain its collections, which require expert care under exacting conditions. These state-of-the-art facilities could not be maintained without the generous support of so many individuals and partners.

Your support can make a huge difference to what the BFI National Archive can achieve, safeguarding our collective heritage and caring for indispensable historical records.

  • $3,000 could help restore a film in our unique artists’ moving image collection.
  • $5,000 supports the safe storage of a nitrate film collection, such as the classics of Ealing Studios, for 10 years.
  • $20,000 could help restore the original colour tinting of an early film that has only ever been seen in black and white.
  • $60-$120,000 can restore a full feature film, and includes the opportunity to meet a curator and select a film.

Our donors receive access to our exclusive US events programme, and full acknowledgements on the BFI website, donor wall and Annual Review.

US events programme

The Friends of the BFI hosts regular screenings in the US. Our first event took place in late 2014 with an exclusive preview of Mr. Turner (Dir. Mike Leigh. UK 2014) in San Francisco, attended by the film’s Oscar-nominated lead, Timothy Spall.

Other San Francisco highlights have included a preview of Suffragette (Dir. Sarah Gavron. UK 2015) with a Q&A with the film’s producer, Alison Owen, and a screening with live musical accompaniment of the BFI National Archive’s restoration of the 1928 silent film Shooting Stars (Dirs. Anthony Asquith, AV Bramble. UK 1928) at the magnificent Castro Theatre, in partnership with the San Francisco Silent Film Festival.

In November 2017, we returned to San Francisco with a screening of Journey’s End (Dir. Saul Dibb. UK 2017) and a Q&A with cast and crew including Sam Claflin and Paul Bettany, at Lucasfilm. We were also delighted to take the film and its team to New York for our inaugural event in the city at the Warner Bros. screening room in Midtown Manhattan. Look out for further events on both the east and west coasts in 2018.


If you would like to donate online, please visit our online giving page.

To donate by check or wire transfer, or for more information on how to support the Friends of the BFI, please contact Hannah Clifford:

Hannah Clifford
+44 (0) 20 7815 4605

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.

With thanks to