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Creator / British Film Institute

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Encourage the development of the arts of film, television and the moving image throughout the United Kingdom, to promote their use as a record of contemporary life and manners, to promote education about film, television and the moving image generally, and their impact on society, to promote access to and appreciation of the widest possible range of British and world cinema and to establish, care for and develop collections reflecting the moving image history and heritage of the United Kingdom.
Royal Charter, 1983

The British Film Institute (or, BFI) is a charitable organisation that promotes and celebrates the history of films and television in Britain. It has the largest film archive in the world, owns two cinemas in London, runs an education program, co-owns museums based around film history, releases a monthly magazine, has a library full of research references, gives out Fellows of the British Film Institute awards annually for people that have made a considerable input in motion picture history worldwide, and even produces its own movies and some TV shows.

Needless to say, the BFI does a lot of things. It's also been around a long time too, first forming in 1933, and is funded by the UK's National Lottery, British-owned media studios, private donations and the government. Not to mention, it follows a royal charter that was established by the UK government and The House of Windsor in 1983 (which you can see at the top of this page), meaning that has a royal duty to exist.

The BFI is also in charge of the annual London Film Festival that occurs in the middle of October, showing movies and shorts from all over the world, as well as the Flare: London LGBT Film Festival (which celebrates LGBT media in the spring season), and the Future Film Festival for the youth.

They have also released several lists, ranging from the best movies of all time to the most-wanted films. These are commonly voted by members of the institute and the public. They are:

  • BFI Top 100 British Films — this was a public vote that resulted from a survey of one thousand people. The film choices were based on how "culturally British" they were.
  • The Sight & Sound's 50 Greatest Films of All Time — chosen worldwide by several filmmakers, directors, and critics, this was published in the BFI's Sight & Sound magazine in 2012. It was split into two with the Critics' choices in one poll and Directors' choices in another.
  • BFI 75 Most Wantedinvoked in case you were wondering, it has nothing to do with wanted criminals or films about it. This is a list of films considered to be missing from the British Film Archives.
  • List of Films You Should See by the Age of 14
  • BFI TV 100 — a list consisting of 100 British television shows that are considered the best of all time.

The films produced by the BFI include independent work by British artists such as Sally Porter, Bill Douglas, Peter Greenaway, Derek Jarman, Isaac Julien and Terence Davies.

You can find their official website here.