Extract from BFI Commission on UK Independent Film

Updated: Jul 14, 2019

Source: BFI

Written by

Zigy Kamasa

CEO, Lionsgate UK and Europe

Chair, Independent Film Commission

Amanda Nevill CBE

Chief Executive, BFI

We are in the midst of an Industrial Revolution

Independent film matters

The UK has the creative might: UK independent film is a cradle of talent, both behind and in-front of the camera, supporting our global reach and attracting the best film and TV players from across the globe to make their homes here in the UK. UK independent film matters: it has the power to promote our diverse and vibrant way of life, influence how the world sees us with stories that celebrate UK culture and ideas and drive the exports of UK plc. All increasingly important as we leave the EU and shape our new place in the world.

The UK independent film business is a great enabler of film talent, storytelling and innovation.

Many of our most valued (and valuable) actors, producers and filmmakers began their careers

thanks to the relative accessibility and creative freedom of independent filmmaking and work across

independent, studio and television businesses. Beyond television, there are clear creative and

economic opportunities for our film industry to intersect with the growing independent UK games

and interactive communities. The creative industries sector, including film, has been named by Government as one of the cornerstones of its Industrial Strategy. It has been

one of five sectors singled out for an early 'sector deal' to unlock growth for creative businesses.

As a business, independent film can be particularly high risk, but we benefit from a number of

competitive advantages that collectively underpin a business worth £6.1 billion to the UK.

Office for National Statistics

• An effective UK film tax relief

• A publicly funded programme of support – via the BFI, its partners (including the agencies in the nations and regions, Creative Skillset and Into Film), the British Council, the BBC and Channel 4 – for the development and promotion of creative and technical talent, for business enterprise and for audience development, as well as the work of internationally recognised organisations such as BAFTA and the NFTS A strong and distinctive cultural heritage that is internationally renowned (eg film, television, publishing, music, theatre and heritage) and provides rich source material for storytelling and the development of ideas

• One of the fastest -growing creative economies in the world that has the screen sectors at its heart, demonstrating our capability and providing confidence to companies across the globe about the UK as a place to do business

• A Government that is strongly committed to the creative industries and digital as a key driver of economic growth and productivity in an overall climate of economic uncertainty.

• A well-capitalised, digitally equipped exhibition sector that has the capacity to show films in increasingly diverse ways, and which will become even more valuable to independent distributors when virtual print fees no longer apply

• High levels of penetration by SVOD services that use both the UK’s rapidly expanding super fast broadband network and well-established and widely available 4G mobile networks10

• An internet which is, in relative terms, still in its infancy and which is likely to provide huge new opportunities for UK film over the next decade and far beyond, including through innovation driven by the UK’s thriving technology sector.

The challenge we face is how UK independent film can take full advantage of it's creative success and evolve more swiftly to better compete in the digital age of opportunities.

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