British Film Institute (BFI) was founded in 1933. It has the world's largest video database. Every year, it produces excellent UK native-language films and co-productions, and hosts various related exhibitions and film festivals. It has played a key role in promoting the development of the British film industry and even in the context of the whole world. At this year’s Beijing International Film Festival, we visited the Director of the International Department of BFI and talked about many film related topics in her perspective.
British Film Institute (BFI): Follow the trail of the movie
Isabel Davis, Director of International Affairs at BFI, loves the film industry very much. She also believes that entering BFI is a great choice for her. At first she was just an actress who was very passionate about performance and drama. She said, “Live performances are very appealing to me to a certain extent, but then I gradually realized that I was not just a performer. Before she entered the film production industry, she participated in script production. She was surprised to find that this process is so interesting: “The audience of the film is very wide. Although the space it needs is small, the ideas and connotations it expresses can be extremely profound and broad. "This is the charm of the film and it is also the reason why she has eventually engaged in the film industry.
When talking about BFI's rich video database, she said, "The maintenance of the video database is a very important part of our work. The government gives us great support. We are also happy to protect and store movies. “The long history of British Film Institute has also laid a very good foundation for the storage of film material.
There are even many early Chinese imagery materials dating back to the 1920s. It's not a movie. It's the image of China 100 years ago that ordinary people photographed with a camera. In the same way, images from all over the world are also kept here. BFI follows the film's trails to all corners of the world. BFI will also establish links with more countries to allow British films to gradually penetrate into the international market. This is not only due to commercial factors but also cultural ones.
For the international strategy of BFI, Isabel said, “Our strategy is to build strong and innovative links. We believe that all success comes from creativity and talent. We must do our best to promote the upgrade of the British film industry. ”
BFI is very active in making co-productions: "In order to produce international co-productions, we are going all over the world to chalk up co-production contracts. We help the films to raise funds on the international platform. For example, we will hold a film festival next month, which is mainly a film competition. Most of the participating films are to be made in Poland, but there are also films made in the United Kingdom and France. ”
BFI also has very serious thoughts on the Sino-British co-productions. Britain wants to understand the rapidly growing Chinese film industry. Isabelle said, “Every time I come to China, I can discover something new. At this year’s Beijing International Film Festival, our 13 or 14 people team are here to learn about China’s film industry. It is also a move to establish a foundation for our future cooperation. "She also mentioned how the British film industry creates an interaction and establish ties with the rapidly developing Chinese film industry. This is a very important issue for the United Kingdom.
When asked about suggestions for the filmmakers participating in co-productions, Isabel said, "We recently listened to a lot of discussions about co-productions and also discussed a lot about co-productions. The great thing is that in the Chinese film industry, many people can hear about the definition of co-productions and how co-productions should be filmed. I think there are many challenges for making a co-production film. If the starting point is to satisfy the viewers of two different cultural regions, this story should have certain elements to hold the audience. Whether it is an actor or a story, the producer should take more effort in the market. The Chinese filmmakers and the British filmmakers share the same idea that the core of the story must be firm, and the co-produced structure should be used to propel the story in a favorable way, instead of being directed by the producer. ”
About Impressions on China and Beijing International Film Festival
Due to multiple visits to China in the past four or five years, Isabel has long been very familiar with China. She not only visited Beijing six or seven times but also visited Shanghai and Hong Kong. She said, “The city of Beijing is full of vitality. I am very happy to come here to participate in Beijing International Film Festival. This time I’ve seen the diversity and professionalism of Beijing International Film Festival. I participated in many exciting activities. In some lively discussions on business, I heard many very professional views of international filmmakers. ”
She also believes that Beijing's huge size can also make Beijing International Film Festival's influence broader. She said, “This is really a wonderful activity. ”