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The BFI’s creation of a national filmography of feature films – a dataset of all feature-length films identified as British, since the start of cinema, with full cast and crew – raised some questions that could not be answered using traditional research methods.
Questions such as: how many women have directed British feature films? Are career prospects for women in the British film industry improving?
The computational approaches developed by the BFI to achieve the genderisation of 250,000 credited film contributors, not only yielded answers to these questions and more, it also fuelled the creation of a data visualisation platform shortlisted for the Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards, and ushered in a new data-driven approach to some of the challenges relating to diversity and inclusion in the film domain.
About the speaker
Stephen McConnachie leads the BFI’s Data and Digital Preservation department, with strategic and operational responsibility for the BFI National Archive’s data and digital preservation policies, standards, practices and infrastructure. The department defines and implements documentation and data standards for the BFI’s collections, creates the BFI Filmography (the national database of British feature films), manages the collections systems (including the Collections Information Database and the Digital Preservation Infrastructure), and delivers data and media to BFI platforms and projects, including BFI Player and the Mediatheque in BFI Southbank
Image: BFI Riverfront, courtesy of BFI and Luke Hayes