Production / Funding - UK
Industry Report: Market Trends
UK launches £7m Global Screen Fund to help plug gap left by Brexit
by David Katz
The fund, administered by the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the BFI, will aim to boost global exports of UK content
The UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS), in partnership with the British Film Institute (BFI), have just launched a new one-year pilot fund for the UK’s independent screen sector, which will offset the funding lost from Creative Europe MEDIA programme since Brexit occurred.
The first pot of funding, amounting to £7 million, is intended for more than simply financing new feature film projects. The emphasis is equally towards boosting global exposure for UK content, through support for multi-territory sales and distribution, in addition to helping invest in new business developments, such as for production companies and in sectors beyond film (for example, TV and narrative interactive gaming).
The main strand for production financing will be through co-production investment, encouraging UK companies to join up with international partners, through sharing IP and revenue on projects with wide audience potential.
An important feature of the fund will be its new international data hub, providing insights that will allow financiers, creators and distributors to make better-informed decisions as they seek global success.
Still, the fund will amount to less than the UK had typically been receiving from MEDIA, where yearly sums from the Creative Europe program granted the former member state over €10m per annum. The BFI initially called for a £17m pot from government finances.
Neil Peplow, Director of International Affairs at the BFI, will lead the fund. Eligible companies can begin applying for International Distribution funding from Monday 28 April, followed by Business Development funding from May, and Co-Production funding in June. Further guidelines will be made available here.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said, “The UK Global Screen Fund will export the extraordinary talent and creativity of the UK to audiences across the globe, supporting our talented filmmakers and screen businesses to compete and grow.”
Ben Roberts, the BFI’s CEO, added, “The pilot UK Global Screen Fund will deliver a vital boost to the UK’s exceptional independent screen sector by stimulating international partnerships and generating new export opportunities. […] It’s vital we continue to build on the global impact of our diverse and brilliant independent screen content.”
The new fund has drawn upon extensive consultation with industry leaders from all four nations of the UK. Producer David Parfitt, whose Trademark Films have produced the Oscar-nominated The Father [+see also:
interview: Florian Zeller
film profile], touted the "business development element alongside distribution support which is particularly attractive to a company like ours. It would allow us to engage and compete on more equal terms with other global independent production companies."
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