+ The firstsince Policy Review Film 1998’s “A Bigger Picture”DCMS:A UK film policy review
+ Jan 2012 – UK Policy ReviewA future forBritish Film – Itbegins with theaudience“We wanted to look at, howcan that be sustainable, notjust for a single year?”Lord Smith
+ 56 pointsThere were 56 pointsin the report. Thispresentationsummarises a few ofthe points of interestto AS Film Studies....
+ 1. Producers’ Recoupment The panel was adamant that producers should recoup funding from financially successful films so that money can be reinvested in the producer’s next films. “We’re saying there should be recoupment both on the Film Tax Relief and the Lottery Funding,” The BFI should no longer assume that successful return on a movie means that the Lottery money comes back directly to the BFI. We want to create that culture of rewarding success, if you make a successful movie, you get the chance to make another one.”
+ 2. Broadcaster Backing The BBC and Channel 4 have steady levels of investment for film currently, but, as Smith singled out, Sky and ITV did not. “The hope is that they would see the wisdom from the point of view of their audiences, as well as their own future; if [movies] are so important for their audiences, let’s see them doing their part for British film,” Smith said. If such contributions weren’t voluntarily reached, then the government should pursue legislative action (possibly in the new Communications Act) to compel Sky, ITV and Channel 5 to invest. BFI is also encouraged to engage in the future with online players such as Apple, LoveFilm and Netflix about promotion and investment in British film.
+ 3. Education and Audience Development Tobring film education into every British school, to improve engagement with film and develop audiences of today and tomorrow. Another move suggested to improve audiences for local films would be to create an annual initiative, British Film Week, which would involve cinemas (and other arts spaces and broadcasters) across the country screening current and catalogue British films.
+ 4. Skills Strongerinvestment in training and skills development (perhaps with a merged Skillset and CC Skills), especially involving new technologies;
+ 5. Piracy Continued commitment to fighting piracy – including a recommendation for legislation making it a criminal offence to record a film in cinemas.
+ 6. Help For Indie Distributors Launchingdigital screens and projectors in more rural communities Creatinga Research & Development Fund for digital innovation in film (working with NESTA and the Arts Council England). BBC Worldwide may be called on to help with the export of British films through its business with international broadcasters around the globe.
+ 7. Commercial vs Arty Funding Asexpected, the furore over Prime Minister David Cameron’s remarks last week about backing successful films were taken somewhat out of context when looking at the report as a whole. Smithnoted that the recommendation was to “reward successful films,” not to only make successful films. Smithnoted: “We advocated support for the widest possible range of movies…from overtly commercial to overtly arty and many in between.”
+ 8. Co-Productions & BFI funds The panel called for a more effective strategy to help co- productions and encouraged the BFI to consider making funds available specifically for co-productions. Animation projects and family films are suggested to get a special allowance of development funding. Also, filmmakers who do market testing (audience research and test screenings) could get marginally increased Lottery funding.
+ Concerns From the early reports – people were concerned that the lottery funds would go to commercial projects and sideline independents – the report focuses upon both Some commentators will still be concerned that fewer funds will go to big budget commercials Also, commercial film-making carries enormous financial risk. Itis impossible to judge what will be a commercially successful film
+ What hasn’t changed? The1998 policy review, and commentators such as Anthony Minghella 2003 , (the then chairman of the BFI) wanted the UK To support the development of opportunities for all UK citizens to understand and appreciate film Creating opportunities for participating in filmmaking especially among young people
+ Again...why it is important to have films that reflect British culture... Cinema is an immensely powerful medium at the heart of the UKs creative industries and the global economy. Cinema entertains, inspires, challenges and informs audiences. Ithelps shape the way we see and understand ourselves and the world. Itraises the profile of the UK (as a brand) and UK culture across the world as a recent Oxford Economics Report (2010) points out (see booklet)
+ Re-capping the 2012 Film Policy Review Can you list 3 points that the policy review put forward? Why were independent producers concerned over the review? What is problematic about targeting money at ‘commercially successful’ films? Summarise how the review intends to help British film be more attractive to British audiences.