A budgetary outline has been announced by the government that will shape the future of the UK’s independent film production sector.
Following the Chancellor’s major spending review announced this week by newspaper leak and in the House of Commons, details have emerged as to how the UK will replace the MEDIA funding pot that exists for creators of film, TV and video game projects, following the completion of Brexit at the year’s end.
In the past, media companies have been able to apply for a share of such funding, with £14.5m, going to the UK in 2018, according to The Hollywood Reporter. For the UK film industry, that funding can be used in a variety of ways, including aiding the exhibition and distribution of UK films around Europe. However, with the country exiting the EU this year, access to MEDIA funding will cease.
Instead, the government has announced the creation of a Global Screen Fund, committing to an initial £7m pot of funding for creative initiatives, including film projects. The cash will be administered by the British Film Institute. The BFI, mindful that the UK’s creative sector is one of the country’s most powerful, had been seeking to support it with approximately £22m, but seem to have accepted the government’s decision.
BFI CEO Ben Roberts states that “today’s £7 million for a pilot Global Screen Fund announced as part of the Government’s Spending Review is a positive result for the independent screen sector in what we appreciate is a challenging fiscal climate. Given the significant contribution of film, TV and video games to the UK economy and our position in the global market, we welcome this new funding which will enable the industry to further grow international partnerships, build on export opportunities and increase our return on investment.”