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British Film Institute (BFI)

The British Film Institute was founded in 1933 and is one of the largest film archives in the world, including more than 150,000 films and 600,000 television programmes.

The British Film Institute was founded in 1933. The following year it created the National Film Archive (now the National Film and Television Archive), and in 1938 was one of the founding organisations of FIAF, the International Federation of Film Archives. The Archive is one of the largest in the world and includes more than 150,000 films and 600,000 television programmes. The NFTVA benefited from significant investment in the last twenty years from the late Sir John Paul Getty and through a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund with the development of a state of the art Conservation Centre at Berkhamsted.

The BFI has a considerable store of filmographic, technical and copyright information and data which is currently being merged into a single database (BID – BFI Integrated Database). Some parts of this will be made available on the web in the next year. The BFI has been at the cutting edge in making its archival collections accessible on the web and launched in 2003 – a definitive guide to British film and television with moving image material available to schools, colleges and libraries in the UK.

The BFI operates across a range of activities including the BFI National Library and the National Film Theatre, and promotes education about moving image media through a series of platforms including book publishing and the publication of the monthly magazine Sight and Sound.

The BFI’s main source of income is a grant from the UK Film Council but it also generates significant income from its trading activities. The BFI employs just over 400 people at three sites: in Berkhamsted, London’s West End and London’s South Bank.

British Film Institute