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14/05/2012

Funding Boost For The Future Of Film In Britain

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A £400,000 funding boost for overseas investment in UK film production, financial incentives to reward commercial success and a brand new approach to film education are set to be introduced following Lord Chris Smith’s recent review of British Film Policy.
Publishing the Government’s response to the review, "A Future for British Film – it begins with the audience", Culture Minister Ed Vaizey announced a package of measures to strengthen the UK film industry.
The majority of the review’s recommendations are directed at the BFI, who today also revealed their Future Plan consultation, which sets out how they propose to go about implementing the independent panel’s findings.
Mr Vaizey said: "The UK film industry is a real success story and I want it to thrive and grow. Economically and culturally British film makes a great contribution and it’s vital that we make the most of the very real opportunity for economic growth it offers.
"Chris Smith’s comprehensive review made practical and innovative recommendations. I’m pleased that Government and industry can sign up to much of this straight away. Along with the BFI, we’re committing to action that will not only drive and encourage investment in British films but will also develop and nurture the next generation of British film makers."
The review made 56 recommendations to Government, industry and the BFI. Key measures include:
•A new funding approach
The review recommended that the BFI introduce a new funding scheme that returns development funding back to companies that achieved box office success, to be reinvested in future films.
The Government fully endorses this approach, which will incentivise and reward success and help build sustainable production companies. To achieve this, the BFI will work with film makers, sales agents and investors to develop these funding mechanisms.
•Increased funding for British Film Commission
The British Film Commission (BFC) is central to the drive for international investment in UK film, and in 2011 over £1 billion was invested in the industry from abroad. The panel was clear that a successful international strategy needs an effectively funded BFC.
The input of the BFI, UKTI, the British Council, Film London and other public and private partners will be crucial in working with the BFC to this end.
The Government has today announced that the BFC will enter into a strategic partnership with UKTI and BFI. Along with contributions from industry, this will provide an additional £400,000 to the BFC's budget and provide a huge boost to the global impact of the UK film industry.
•Education & Skills
Also recommended in the review is a new approach to film education which brings together making, seeing and learning about film. Led by the BFI, this would be available in every school across the UK, giving easy access to learning materials, resources and information.
Government is committed to creating a new vision for film education and the BFI has already made progress in this area. This recommendation echoes the findings from the recent review of Cultural Education, following which the Department of Education announced a £3 million investment to enable a new unified body for film education to identify and develop young film makers.
Last year, the Government made the BFI the lead body for film in the UK and the review’s recommendations place considerable emphasis on the new role and status of the BFI.
The BFI will lead on implementing the majority of the recommendations, including funding, film export and digital readiness and will work collaboratively with Government, industry and audiences.
Government welcomes the BFI’s Future Plan consultation which sets out how the organisation intends to approach the challenges the review makes and encourages all interested parties to take part and ensure their views are heard.
The full Government response to the review can be seen online at
www.culture.gov.uk
(GK)
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