Board Members

BIFA

Remote

Salary: Unpaid

BIFA is looking for people to join their Board of Trustees.

Aims of the organisation

The British Independent Film Awards highlight and reward the best, most innovative and creative independent filmmaking and filmmakers in the UK. BIFA identifies and encourages emerging talent, supports and celebrates the independent film community and promotes British film and talent to the public.

Each year, the BIFA voters, made up of the Screening Group and Nomination Committee, view the 400+ entered films. After a rigorous discussion-based selection process, the long list and nominations are decided by confidential vote. The winners in most categories are decided by independent juries, newly appointed each year and not involved in the nominations process. These juries, comprised of leading professionals and talent from the British film industry, meet to discuss all the nominated films and the winners are decided by secret ballot. The winners for Best British Independent Film, Best British Short Film, Best International Independent Film, Best Documentary, The Raindance Discovery Award and the nine craft categories are decided by a confidential vote amongst all BIFA voters. Once the votes have been counted and validated, the winners are announced at the British Independent Film Awards.

Throughout the rest of the year, BIFA works to promote the films and filmmakers identified by the awards within the UK and international film industry and to audiences (especially under 25s) via an always-on campaign marketing British independent film and filmmakers. BIFA also supports the talented emerging filmmakers identified by the Awards with the Springboard programme, which aims to help debut filmmakers as they progress from their first to second features. The programme includes continuing professional development sessions, networking opportunities and initiatives to support filmmakers to continue developing their careers.

BIFA also runs a ground-breaking Unconscious Bias Training programme since 2018, developed with and funded by ScreenSkills, which returns this year alongside two new programmes: Anti-Bullying and Harassment Training, and Fair Recruitment and Inclusivity in the Workplace Training.

Role of the Board

Three groups of volunteers, drawn from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines across the film industry, advise BIFA’s small executive team: the Board, the Advisory Committee and the Nomination Committee.

These committees guide and support the BIFA team as they develop new programmes to ensure that these respond effectively to the needs of the industry, giving the team access to a range of informed and expert opinions to challenge and steer the organisation. BIFA exists to benefit the independent filmmaking community in the UK and these groups act as representatives of the industry in shaping the organisation’s activity.

The Advisory Committee has a broad role advising the small executive team on aspects of the award ceremony, audience development activity and industry training initiatives. The Nomination Committee makes recommendations about rules and processes for the Awards and oversees their implementation through the eligibility and voting process.

The (non-executive) Board sits above both of these committees and has formal responsibility for: all changes to rules and processes for the Awards; the ceremony host, date and venue; overall strategy for the organisation; organisational budgeting; changes to the brand; director appointments (exec and non-exec).

Responsibilities

The Board meets around six times per year (usually online), for about 1h30 at each meeting. Papers are sent for review two weeks before the meeting; preparation for the meeting should take no more than an hour. Between meetings Board members may be asked to contribute to discussions via email, to read and comment on proposals/documents or to support the executive team with introductions or advice on specific queries.

Board members are invited to the Awards in December and various other awards-related events in the run up to the ceremony.

Members specification 2021

There are currently several specific areas of expertise which the Board and BIFA team would like to add to the Committee. We welcome applications from all, but are especially keen to receive applications from those in groups currently under-represented within the work force in the film industry.

Filmmakers

We would like to include one or two filmmakers (in any key creative role, including on-screen) who are actively working in UK independent film and have significant experience in features to lend their perspective and expertise to the Board, especially its discussions and reflections on BIFA’s support of emerging talent (Springboard) and the industry more broadly, both in terms of the current offer (ED&I training) and in terms of what more BIFA could and should be doing.

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

BIFA is in the process of a full review of ED&I across the organisation, which will be conducted by an external consultant. In parallel with this, we aim to embed ED&I within all aspects of the organisation’s governance and this is particularly important on the Board, given the breadth of its remit and its role in shaping and advising on the development of all aspects of BIFA’s activity. We are looking for someone who either works in film and who has had responsibility for or specific experience of ED&I work within their role or someone who works within ED&I but with a keen interest in independent film.

Distributor

One Board seat is reserved for a distributor, since this sector of the industry is a key stakeholder for BIFA’s awards and marketing activity.

Sponsorship & Business Development

BIFA has diversified its activities over the last five years but, as a not-for-profit organisation without long-term core funding, stabilising its financial position in the medium to long term is a key priority for the Board and the organisation. The Board and BIFA would like to include an individual with experience of sponsorship or fundraising on the Board to help to advise on strategy in this area.

Marketing & PR

Two long-serving Board members are due to step down in April who have expertise in these areas, of key strategic importance to the organisation and its role as a champion of independent film in both a public- and audience-facing capacity.

Apply to be a Board Member

A sub-committee of the Board (comprising the Chair and the two Co-Directors of BIFA) will assess applications and meet with applicants.

Complete the application form here.

  • Interviews: Thursday 13 January to Tuesday 18 January
  • Final decisions: Wednesday 26 January

The closing date for this position is 03/01/2022 at 23:59

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