The Standards focus on underrepresentation on screen, behind the camera and in film audiences, in relation to age, disability, ethnicity, gender, LGBTQ+, religion or belief, socioeconomic background and geographical location outside London and the South East. However, this isn’t a definitive list and we welcome applications from projects which address underrepresentation in ways not mentioned above.
A contractual requirement for projects funded by the BFI, the Standards are also a resource for the industry. We are committed to working with all active producers, film organisations and project leaders in the UK, to voluntarily adopt the Standards by 2022, to ensure the sector is representative of the UK, both in terms of its workforce and the content it produces.
To achieve the Standards, projects must demonstrate commitment to inclusion and meet the criteria in at least two of the following four areas: A) on-screen representation, B) creative leadership, C) industry access and training opportunities* and D) distribution and exhibition strategies.
By challenging projects to meet the criteria, the Standards aim to encourage behavioural change and inspire project leaders to use more inclusive practices – both in creative content and recruitment.
*Achieving Standard C, which focuses on new entrants and development opportunities, is compulsory for all projects, apart from BFI Development Funding, and BAFTA and BIFA applications.
Read the full Diversity Standards criteria.
Industry buy in
The Standards have been adopted by Film4 and BBC Films, so are a requirement for the majority of public funding for film in the UK. Achieving the Standards is also an eligibility requirement for the BAFTA Film Awards categories for Outstanding British Film and Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer. The British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) are piloting the Standards in the Best British Independent Film category, with a view to introducing a formal rule change in 2019.
Advice and more information
To find out more about the Standards, request an application form or discuss approaches to meeting the criteria, contact Julia Brown, Diversity Standards Manager in the BFI Certification Unit, on +44 (0)20 7173 3273 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that BFI Film Fund applicants will find the Standards application form incorporated into the Film Fund application process, so you do not need to request a standalone form.
Answers to frequently asked questions about the Diversity Standards can be found below.