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22/02/2006

BBC and UK Film Council announce new film partnership

The BBC and the UK Film Council - two of the biggest stakeholders in British film - have joined forces to put film and broadcasting at the centre of a brand new partnership.
The BBC and the UK Film Council will work in tandem with a range of collaborative projects designed to give audiences more choice, develop and support creativity and skills across the industry and encourage public participation in film.
A key element of the BBC's renewed commitment to film is a new BBC film strategy for broadcast across all its channels and platforms, supported by a minimum 50% increase in the BBC's budget for film - from £10m a year to £15m a year - and an increase in the proportion of the BBC's acquisition budget allocated to British films with a guaranteed £50m over the next charter period subject to the outcome of the licence fee settlement.
This increased investment is part of a new BBC film strategy setting out clear objectives for the way the BBC can support and participate in British film for the duration of the next charter.
The five key points of the BBC strategy are:
  • Increase BBC TV channel support for British films with the launch of a new BBC channel strategy for film, including extra commitment to new talent on BBC Three;
  • Increase the proportion of acquisition spend directed to UK film for feature films that could play on BBC One and Two. The BBC will invest a guaranteed £5m a year over the next Charter period for this purpose (with scope for a potential further £5m a year);
  • Help stimulate indigenous British feature film production through a minimum 50% increase to BBC Films' budget;
  • Continue to drive innovation and awareness of film across the BBC's media outlets;
  • And, with the BBC's partners, continue to support British talent, training and development.
As well as the massive boost for British film production and acquisition, the UK Film Council and the BBC will pool resources in partnership with Skillset and the British Film Institute, giving audiences more choice to film and cinema through the UK Film Council's Digital Screen Network, and the BBC's Creative Archive.
Commenting on this new creative partnership, John Woodward, Chief Executive Officer of the UK Film Council, said: "Our new partnership backed by the substantial increase of the BBC's films budget is a real boost for the British film industry.
"We know the general public want to see more British films; recent Ofcom research showed that film on TV was more important to the public than soaps.
"We've always worked well with the BBC in the past, but we now have a unique opportunity to put this relationship on a new footing sharing the same mission to ensure that more British films are made and shown on the BBC channels."
Stewart Till CBE, Chairman, UK Film Council, said: "Over the next Charter period we could see almost a doubling of the BBC's acquisition budget from £6m per year up to £11m per year which means more people will get to see more British films on their television.
"Coupled with the BBC's commitment to increase production spend by a minimum 50% from £10m per year to £15m per year means that more British films will be made.
"Together this increased investment is a formidable boost for the British film industry."
(GB)
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