• In the UK, 87% of people are White, and 13% belong to a Black, Asian, Mixed or Other ethnic group.
  • Asian people, at 59%, were significantly less likely to take part in the arts than White people (including White ethnic minorities), at 78%, or Black people, at 70%[1]
  • Black people are three times as likely to be arrested as white people
  • People of white British and Indian backgrounds are more likely than other minorities to be homeowners
  • Among poorer children, those of BME backgrounds have higher attainment levels than white pupils[2]
  • Only 1 in 16 of current FTSE 100 board members is from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background.
  • 1 in 8 employees in the UK are from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups.[3]
  • Diverse audiences tend to be heavier film consumers compared to the national average, especially Eastern Europeans (31% are “heavy” film consumers compared to 12% for the national average)
  • Asian, Black, Eastern European and LGB audiences attend the cinema much more frequently than the national average (all over 30% for “very regular” compared to 14% for the national average)
  • These audiences also have an above-average affinity for cinema, with over 1 in 2 Black, Eastern European and LGB audiences saying cinema remains the best place to watch film – even higher (3 in 5) for the Asian audience
  • 7 in 10 of the general public say it is important for some films to portray real life issues facing our communities – our diverse audiences tend to think this even more important (e.g. 88% of the Black audience)
  • Diverse audiences are also more likely to think it important that they can see stories, characters and settings to which they can personally relate – for example, 65% of the working class audience say it is important to see their own stories authentically reflected in the films they watch
  • 67% of the general public say the portrayal of our nation’s diverse audiences has become more authentic over the last ten years – and this view is largely shared by diverse audiences
  • However, when asked about the amount of work needed to be more authentic: 19% of the general public perceived “a great deal” more work needs to be done, comparing to 43% for the Asian audience and 58% of the Black audience
  • The following are the proportions from diverse audiences who say they would watch more films if people from diverse backgrounds were portrayed more authentically: 59% of the Asian audience, 66% of the Black audience, 54% of the Eastern European audience[4]

[1]Ethnicity Facts & Figures, GOV.UK
[2]The Guardian, Huge effect of ethnicity on life chances revealed in official UK figures
[3]Diversity in the UK
[4]Portrayal V Betrayal: an investigation of diverse and mainstream UK film audiences, 2011


Diversity UK is a think tank to research, advocate and promote new ideas for improving diversity and inclusion in Britain. 

UK-BAME represents the diverse collective interests of the UK’s Black, Asians and Minority Ethnic communities who expressed interest or require assistance in developing businesses, community groups, lifestyles, and careers.

Refugee Action has spent 35 years helping refugees build safe, hopeful and productive new lives in the UK.

The British Blacklist offers reviews, news and social analysis striving to bring a voice to burgeoning talent, which rarely receive any visibility. Featuring an extensive database of African Caribbean British creative talent with a strong features-driven core.

The New Black Film Collective is network of film exhibitors, educators and programmers spread across the regions in the UK. As part of our range of services, we host screenings that matter to the local community featuring international and domestic films of black representation. 

Come the Revolution is a collective of curators, programmers and creatives from Bristol & Birmingham committed to exploring and challenging black life, experience and cultural expression through cinema.

We Are Parable believe in the power of events. They want to make events that leave a legacy and produce memories that last.

Birmingham Indian Film Festival – BIFF – brings you the best new Indian & South Asian independent cinema, with a rare window into a billion South Asian lives.

Gentle/Radical is a grassroots cultural organisation and platform for radical thinking, creative practice and social change.

In Place of War has worked with creative communities in some of the most challenging context in the world. In Place of War is a support system for community artistic, creative and cultural organisations in places of conflict, revolution and areas suffering the consequences of conflict.

Afrika Eye Film Festival, held annually in Bristol, is the South West’s biggest celebration of African cinema and culture. Our Festival brings films and diverse perspectives on Africa and the African diaspora to growing audiences in Bristol and the South West.

Desi Blitz is a digital magazine based in Birmingham, England. It’s the leading online magazine for British Asian communities in the UK.

David Oyelowo's full speech on diversity at the BFI Black Star Symposium

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