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17/01/2012

Responses Emerge To UK Film Policy Review

Responses to the UK film policy, published yesterday, have been pouring in from many key players in the industry.
The introduction of a British film week, film screenings and a push on anti-piracy are among the proposals outlined in a review of the UK film industry completed by former Labour minister Lord Smith.
The review was commissioned by the government to explore ways to offer greater support to UK filmmakers.
Hidden inside the 56 recommendations are two gems that if taken up will be hugely useful over the next few years. First is the recommendation for a research and development fund for innovative business plans.
But perhaps most importantly, the review also recommends a much more resourced and partnership-focused research body, re-titled research and knowledge.
The only disappointment is the review's approach to copyright in the digital age. Here it is unnecessarily conservative, with no plans to make copyright clearances easier.
The British Film Institute
"Against the backdrop of a record year for British film and film talent, we welcome this report which rightly places audiences at the heart of future UK film policy.
"The BFI has enjoyed a fruitful dialogue with Chris Smith, the panel, and with the industry, as we have all engaged with the development of this report which looks at the film sector completely in the round. We share the exciting ambition to drive a vibrant and prosperous future for British film and offer audiences excellence and choice.
|”We look forward to considering the recommendations in the report and the Government’s response to it. The recommendations will help inform and define the BFI’s forward plan in support of the whole film sector."
The British Film Commission
Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of the British Film Commission and Film London, said: "I welcome Lord Smith’s report and look forward to working with the DCMS and the BFI to fully consider and implement its findings. I am delighted to see the report recognises the important work of the British Film Commission in attracting inward investment films to the UK and firmly recommends that this should be sustained and developed. And with regards to international strategy, I believe this is an area with much scope for growth and I relish the opportunity to work with our partners the BFI and the industry to drive it forward."
Iain Smith, Chair of the British Film Commission, said: "The recommendations in the Film Policy Review show an understanding that ambitious, big budget, international movies choosing to shoot in the UK play a significant role in supporting our domestic industry as well as helping to build a world-class skilled workforce, while also generating vital income for the economy. I believe that if the UK successfully services the international industry, it plays an important role in helping to develop our home grown talent and supporting a healthy and growing domestic industry. Quite simply the UK’s highly skilled film-making talent represent some of the best in the business; they are one of the UK’s greatest assets and something we must value and ensure we support and maintain."
Creative England
Creative England Chairman John Newbigin said: "These are solid and practical recommendations to Government that will be good for creative talent and good for audiences in every part of the country, not just London. We look forward to working in partnership with the BFI to make them happen."
Creative England CEO Caroline Norbury said: "We are encouraged to see so many of the suggestions that Creative England made to the Film Policy Review reflected in the independent panel’s report and recommendations to government. Many of these views were expressed to us by the regional film industry during our own consultation in 2011; for example the importance of supporting a diverse range of talent at a local level, wherever it comes from, and the need to balance Lottery spend across the country."
Women In Film and Television
WFTV Chief Executive, Kate Kinninmont, who was at the industry launch of the report said: "We are excited by the panel’s review and look forward to seeing how the government and BFI respond. It was reassuring to see the panel acknowledged that only 12% of writers and 13% of directors of British films are female and we look forward to working with industry partners to continue to address this."
"Many of the recommendations set out in the report should benefit WFTV members across the UK. In particular point 44, which states that:

 "'The Panel recommends that the BFI works with and supports Creative England, the National Screen Agencies, Skillset and others to create a strategy to ensure diverse talent is found, supported and nurtured, outside of London. Ways should be found to help ensure that talented people can work, in a sustainable way, wherever they may wish to locate themselves in the UK."
(LB/GK)
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