Unconscious Bias Training

BIFA has announced that its ground-breaking Unconscious Bias Training programme, developed with and funded by ScreenSkills, will return in 2020, cementing its commitment to building a fair and inclusive industry with this vital training.

This year’s programme will run until February 2021 using National Lottery funds awarded to ScreenSkills by the British Film institute as part of the Future Film Skills strategy. The sessions are currently free of charge for anyone in the screen industries.

Piloted with BIFA voters in 2018, the Unconscious Bias training programme was designed to help voters recognise and mitigate against potential subliminal biases in their film watching and during the voting process, such as genre, budget, commerciality, reputation or the gender and race of key creatives or lead actors.

Training has since been delivered to all BIFA voters who participate in the voting process and has also been rolled out to other organisations in the film and television industries, including BAFTA jurors. The training is accessible, relatable, informative and helps to build a better, more inclusive industry by supporting industry professionals to improve their leadership, judgement, and decision-making skills.

A comprehensive programme will guide voters in addressing whether subliminal assumptions across dimensions such as genre, commerciality, gender, and ethnicity are impacting their selections during the voting process, both in individual decision-making scenarios and in group deliberations.

Training will be held online, using Zoom, roughly once a month and will be limited to a max of 25 participants per session. The training will be facilitated by Challenge Consultancy who have developed and delivered the training on behalf of BIFA for the past two years.

Amy Gustin and Deena Wallace, co-directors of BIFA said: “We’re delighted to be able to continue to offer this vital training. We’ve had excellent feedback from voters, who have found the sessions to be valuable not just for their awards viewing and voting but in many wider applications in their working life: commissioning, casting and hiring decisions and so on. We’re really grateful for ScreenSkills’ continued support of this pioneering programme, which we, and they, believe is an important step to keep developing our industry’s skills and reputation through this time of uncertainty.

Gareth Ellis-Unwin, ScreenSkills Head of Film and Animation, said “We know that this is a desperately worrying time for people in the industry when so much work has ceased because of lockdown. One of the things we are able to do, however, is offer training and insight for those that choose to use this period to learn in a way they might find difficult to find time for in busier times. We hope that by doing this we keep the workforce resilient, connected and ready for when the return-to-work comes.

To register for one of our sessions click here