Review of UK film industry urges broadcasters to increase investment

Posted: 16th January 2012

A new approach to film education in British schools, financial incentives to encourage collaborations between producers and distributors at the initial stages of financing a project, and moves to encourage all major broadcasters to increase current levels of support for British film are some of the recommendations made by Lord Chris Smith’s review of UK film in a report published today.

Commissioned last year by Culture Minister Ed Vaizey, A Future for British Film – it begins with the audience was charged with proving a path forward to increase the role film plays in driving growth, creating jobs and stimulating inward investment and exports.

The series of recommendations in the review are intended to ‘increase audience choice and grow the demand for British films in the UK and overseas’. The recommendations are designed to ‘complement policy measures to support the production of British films, helping ensure that those films reach audiences, stimulating cultural awareness and creativity’.

“This review highlights the things that the BFI, Government and industry can do to ensure that we continue to build on recent successes,” said Lord Smith.

“British film is in prime position to make a major contribution to the growth of the UK’s economy, to the development of attractive and fulfilling careers for young people and to the creation of job opportunities across the country.” 

The report contains a total of 56 recommendations to Government, industry and the British Film Institute (BFI) including:

  • A new programme to bring film education into every school, giving every pupil the chance to see, understand and learn about British film.
  • A call for the major broadcasters to invest more in the screening, acquisition and production of independent British film. Similarly, the broadcasters could be a powerful force for sharing information and knowledge about the breadth of film available – through increased programming about film, online content and mobile ‘apps’.
  • Incentives ensuring a more collaborative approach between producers, directors and distributors.
  • A strong commitment to combat piracy and illegal exploitation of intellectual property.
  • A scheme to bring digital screens and projectors to village and community halls across the country. The Big Lottery Fund and BFI should work together to create a programme of assistance for local film clubs and societies in areas of rural deprivation or isolation, including the provision of screening facilities for village and community halls.
  • An annual celebration, focused on a British Film Week, to re-establish the brand of British film.
  • Stronger investment in training and skills development, especially to seize new technology opportunities.

“I know the panel has worked very closely with representatives from the entire film community and I look forward to examining what the report recommends to government, industry and the BFI,” added Ed Vaizey, the culture minister.

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