Tuesday, 20 October 2009

New BFI Centre

News emerged last week that the government was giving the BFI £45 million to build a new National Film Centre on the Southbank, just behind the London Eye.

The estimated budget is around £166 million, so that leaves the BFI still short over £100 million. While the news of public investment in exhibition is great, personally I think spending this money on saving the hundreds of cinemas that are facing the the threat of closure would have been money better spent.

The BFI Southbank has only recently experienced a massive revamp and serves its function very well. How the BFI are going to get £100 million in this economic climate (particulary when they are merging with the UKFC to save money) remains to be explained.

From this very skeptical blogger's perspective, this initiative seems like a headline-grabbing move from a government in trouble. What do you think?


  1. The idea is ludicrous. As you said they have recently revamped it and it's fine as it is. Seeing as funding for film in the capital has been reduced over the next few years due to the stinky Olympics getting all the cash, there are loads of other places within film and culture where the money could be spent to more useful ends.

  2. London-centric as ever-at least we are within shouting distance,even if some of us can't get there due to lack of health,money,whatever.To think you had to run a massive campaign simply to get the roof mended!If I lived in the North I would be even more pissed off

  3. While I appreciate the good work that the BFI does for British Cinema, this does seem like another huge amount of money thrown at (as my Grandfather would say) "that London". It's not like Central London is starved of both Mainstream and Arthouse Cinemas, is it?
    I've named my regional National Treasures here before; and I'm sure that they, and others, would benefit from a share the funds... How much for one of those 3-D Projectors so that the Independants can compete with the Multiplexes on the latest titles?

  4. I'm still annoyed that it's no longer called the NFT.

  5. Hello Lynne! Thanks for the contribution. Just had a look at your blog...very nice! When I moved to London in 2002, I spent a lot of free time at the old NFT and also felt a little bit betrayed when it 're-branded' into BFI Southbank. Either way, everyone is right: it's a lot of money for an unnecessary new building.