The Value of Arts and Culture

When asked why he made films, Director Luis Buñel said ‘to show that this is not the best of possible worlds’. As we look around us today, a pandemic raging through the world, economies struggling and the distance between one another feeling wider and wider, we must confront the fact that this certainly isn’t the best of worlds. But arts and culture will always fight for a better one. It always endeavors to search for a better way of existing, and that is why the arts and cultural sector is so vital in the UK.  

There are stats to illustrate its importance, like how the sector employs 363,000 people and contributes £10.8 billion a year to the economy. But arts and cultural organisations also contribute something much more significant. They help shape culture. 

And there are so many skilled and innovative organisations in the UK that are working hard to make sure as many people than ever before are involved in the future of our culture. From the Film Hubs operating across the country to discover and support emerging film making talent from diverse backgrounds, to BIFA who champion and celebrate independent and debut features, to outreach groups like Reclaim the Frame who highlight and stimulate first releases from female lead films. From these efforts we have seen a veritable spring of impactful, real, titles, such as The Last Tree, Rocks and For Sama.  

Why all this effort? Because those films are important. They are tiny glimpses into lives we don’t know, good art puts you at the center of another life and makes you experience and appreciate a different perspective, whether you want to or not. They spark conversation, they expand our understanding of the world and they have real life consequences and bring about real change.   

We always try to make space in our programme for debut directors, films which don’t have big budgets because larger studios won’t take the chance. That’s because these films are usually fresh and unique, they are stories that are more ahead of the curve compared to mainstream titles. They have the license to be more nuanced and push a more provocative conversation, these films shape and move our culture and our understanding of one another. And in turn, they inspire other burgeoning film makers into telling their stories too.  

But they need an audience. They need support from you. The arts and cultural sector is so important in terms of what it brings to the economy but also what it brings to us. Our life is shaped and affected by art and culture, let’s keep it that way.  

For a bite of something mind and culture expanding this month, take a look at our film programme.  


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