U.K. government saves BFI archive

UKFC gets $50 million to preserve films

LONDON — The future of Blighty’s national and regional film archives has been secured thanks to a £25 million ($50 million) handout by the British government.

The coin is on top of the $6 million awarded by the U.K. Film Council for the nation’s digital film archive fund.

The funding will enable the British Film Institute to preserve and restore its national and regional collections.

Some of this material — roughly a third — is in such a poor state of repair that it requires urgent attention or risks being lost to future generations.

The U.K. secretary of state for culture, media and sport James Purnell said: “The archive is a national treasure. It’s a visual history of Britain since the moving image began. From the earliest silent newsreels to CinemaScope to 3-D, the BFI archive is one of the greatest collections of film and TV in the world. It’s vital that we safeguard its future.”

The BFI National Archive contains more than 60,000 fiction pics, 120,000 nonfiction titles and around 675,000 TV shows.