Film and television production companies have experienced a languishing patch in the last one year after the unforeseen challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic emerged. The consequential effects of the nation-wide lockdowns have unexpectedly blown the independent film producers, distributors, and enterprises responsible for generating the business for such companies.
From minimized to no revenue from the ticket sales following the partial to complete closure of cinema halls due to the pandemic-induced restrictions have affected the functioning of independent producers.
Barring some of the age-old international distributors and conventionally large film producers, the pandemic has developed a bizarre condition for a large section of small-scale producers, the companies helping the film industry with technicians and other skill-based talents.
In order to provide a cushion for the apparently ailing independent film and screen content producers and distributors located across the United Kingdom, the government has launched a multi-million fund that has been drafted to benefit these corporations as the nations proceed ahead with the planned easements, recovering from the Covid-laden hardships.
UK Global Screen Fund
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), alongside the Department for International Trade, will be channelizing the UK Global Screen Fund, developed in partnership with the BFI (British Film Institute). Monetary backing to the tune of £7 million is expected to help in reviving the deprived condition of independent film producers and distributors.
The fund has been modelled to benefit such companies, empowering them to a position from where they can export the domestic content in the different international markets around the world. The independent companies associated with co-production, business development and international film distribution are set to benefit from the grants being extended under the fund.
With the help of this fund, a large number of independent producers will be able to reach the international audience, following which the independent screen sector of Britain will be adequately-placed to compete on the global scale, effectively intensifying the recognition of the British film industry.
Subsequent to the extension of grants, a relatively large number of UK-based independent production houses will develop the capability to join the mainstream global cinema. The move is likely to bring new talent to the British film industry, creating prospects for more employment within the sector and the enterprises operating closely with the industry.
The UK screen sector has remained vibrant with a huge potential to grow on the international level. Notably, the screen fund is not designed to cater to the requirements of independent filmmakers. The companies responsible for developing screen content, interactive narrative games, documentaries, animated movies and television series are poised to benefit from the fund. Thereby, the fund will comprehensively support multiple functions across the UK, bringing out the best stories and localized content from deep-rooted sections of the country.
The UK-based independent content producers are set to become more competitive internationally. A scale-up of such kind can substantially help them in attracting a larger pool of global audience that can assist in driving the revenue stream.
Furthermore, the fund is likely to create additional networking and development opportunities across the British film industry, considerably increasing the access for independent producers based out of remote locations and the regions that have a bunch of production companies that have remained less capable in exporting their content internationally.
There will be a nation-wide benefit for a large number of independent producers spread out across various jurisdictions, it will also help in improving the geographic imbalance within the British film industry. The Global Screen Fund will specifically focus on the nature of projects, the content reflecting the culture and talent of the English regions outside Greater London. The talent of Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland will also be considered under the fund, while the DCMS and BFI will be considering the locations where projects are being made.
Meanwhile, the government-aided £500 Film and TV Production Restart Scheme has helped in protecting more than 35,000 jobs across the British film industry, with over 350 production houses registering for the fund.