The cinema and the public: a critical analysis of the origin, constitution, and control of the British Film Institute (1934)

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Recent public references by the Film Group of the Federation of British Industries (who have appointed one of the Institute's governors) to the Institute's having been formed " with the full knowledge and consent of H.M. Government "* are equally confusing ; since the Government has throughout refused to accept any responsibility in regard to the Institute. 4. PROPOSED WORK. The " British Film Institute " has published in its official statement, and frequent references have been made both in articles and letters in the Press and in statements at conferences, to a list of ten items of work which it hopes to undertake. Nothing is easier for a new organisation, as you know, than to draw up and have printed an impressive summary of the work on which it hopes to engage ; it is another matter for it to carry out that work satisfactorily. In this particular case, more- over, each of the ten items of activity mentioned can be shown, on analysis, to be either (a) something someone else or some other organisation is already efficiently per- forming, f or (b) something which the Institute, as now * In a letter of protest to the Board of Trade, summarised in the press on November 24th, 1933. " The trade as such," says this revealing letter, as given in full in To-day's Cinema on November 24th, J 933> " holds no special brief for the recently-formed British Film Institute, but it should be pointed out that the Institute has been formed with the full knowledge and consent of H.M. Government." t E.g., " To advise Government Departments concerned with films" (Item 8). The Government has already its own Cinema Officer, Mr. Foxen Cooper, for this express purpose. Page 34