British Film Institute


The British Film Institute (BFI) was founded in 1933 and area charity governed by a Royal Charter. The BFI combine cultural, creative and industrial roles, bringing together the BFI National Archive and BFI Reuben Library, film distribution, exhibition and education at BFI Southbank and BFI IMAX, publishing and festivals.

The BFI award Lottery funding to film production, distribution, education, audience development and market intelligence and research.

The BFI runs the BFI Southbank and London IMAX cinema, both located on the south bank of the River Thames in London.

The IMAX has the largest cinema screen in the UK, and shows popular recent releases and short films showcasing its technology, which includes 3D screenings and 11,600 watts of digital surround sound.

BFI Southbank shows films from all over the world particularly critically acclaimed historical & specialised films that may not otherwise get a cinema showing. At BFI Southbank there is also BFI Reuben Library, our collection spans the history of cinema. Our priority is comprehensive coverage of the moving image in Britain, but the collection is international in scope.

We are also home to the BFI Mediatheque.  Simply log on at a viewing station and choose from over 2,500 highlights from the BFI National Archive, the world’s greatest and most diverse collection of film and television, free of charge. From home movies to feature films, documentaries to kids’ TV, many titles have rarely been seen since their original release or broadcast – if at all.

The BFI also distributes archival and cultural cinema to other venues – each year to more than 800 venues all across the UK, as well as to a substantial number of overseas venues.

For more information, please visit

BFI Southbank member choice 6