The UK Film Council published its new funding and policy priorities from April 2007 – March 2010 on Thursday 10 May.
The document, Film in the Digital Age, includes the creation of five new funding priorities to boost public access to film such as through film festivals and the nation’s rich film heritage.
The new priorities all have clear backing from across the different sectors of the film industry following an extensive consultation earlier this year. They are:
• UK Film Festivals Fund – £1.5m (approx R20.25m) per year – to create a thriving film festival scene in the UK giving the public better access to the rich world of cinema in all its diversity;
• UK Digital Film Archives Fund – £1m (approx R13.5m) per year – to open up access to the nation’s unparalleled film heritage across the UK;
• Partnership Challenge Fund – £1m (approx R13.5m) per year – bringing new funding partnerships together to widen public participation in film, initially with the following priorities:
o media literacy and film education;
o cinema capital funding;
o cinema access and inclusion initiatives;
o London 2012 Olympic related film initiatives;
• Digitisation and Marketing Fund – £2m (approx R27m) per year – building on our existing Prints and Advertising Fund with additional funding focusing on wider theatrical and online distribution of British and specialised film;
• Marketing Testing Fund – £1m (approx R13.5m) per year from the existing Premiere Fund will be used to market test British films. Any British film will be able to apply for funding not just those supported by the Premiere Fund.
In addition the UK Film Council will continue with all its existing funding priorities at the same financial level.
John Woodward, Chief Executive Officer of the UK Film Council said:
“A big thank you to the industry for contributing to such a positive consultation on our future funding and policy priorities. We have taken on board the feedback and now we have a clear plan to help British film companies to move forward into the digital age.
“Our new activities are deliberately aimed at building the areas of activity which came through most strongly in the consultation exercise namely, more focus on audiences especially through digital distribution, and more impact by working more effectively with other funding partners.
“The resounding message was that digital advances will change the way the film industry works and that the UK Film Council must take a lead. We recognise this and will act upon it by ensuring our policies and funding measures encourage and support innovation.’