BFI has named its first disability equality lead. Claire Baines will hold positions to further promote disability equality within the screen industries and within the organization.
Bains, who became blind at the age of 15, will emphasize furthering the strategic goals and objectives of the BFI for those who identify as D/deaf, disabled and/or neurodivers. This would include “implementing permanent interventions” that stifle competence in the screen industries.
She will work with BFI partners to identify and champion the diverse representation in the group’s projects and activities and which are supported through the funds it distributes, such as the National Lottery. She will also advocate equality of access for people with disabilities, both physical, as well as in terms of access to opportunities.
She is joined by Zebra Technologies, and will report to BFI’s Head of Inclusion Melanie Hoyce as a key member of the inclusion team, which is led by Jennifer Smith, BFI’s Director of Culture and Inclusion.
Hoyes said: “This area of work has been a focus for some time, and with the support of our brilliant Disability Screen Advisory Group we have made good progress in highlighting the vast inequality of representation and access facing and behind talent with disabilities . Camera. I’m excited to be working with Claire to build on that.”
Bains said: “I went blind at the age of 15 and ironically, my passion for film began from then on. I quickly realized the importance of storytelling and how important representation is to relate when I couldn’t represent myself in UK film.
I am now proud to be part of BFI, where I am excited to build on the success of existing projects such as Busting the Bias and Press Reset, as well as working with BFI’s Disability Screen Advisory Group and colleagues across the organization. Real change, empowering voices with disabilities, advocating for access, and creating meaningful relationships and partners.