Busy with the Irish Film Board script reports today but thought it remiss not to mention last week's news about the BBC and the Film Council getting together. Here's the deal:
"The BBC and the UK Film Council, two of the biggest stakeholders in British film, have joined forces to put film and broadcasting at the centre of a brand new partnership.
The BBC and the UK Film Council will work in tandem with a range of collaborative projects designed to give audiences more choice, develop and support creativity and skills across the industry and encourage public participation in film.
A key element of the BBC’s renewed commitment to film is a new BBC film strategy for broadcast across all its channels and platforms, supported by a minimum 50% increase in the BBC’s budget for film from £10 million a year to £15 million a year and an increase in the proportion of the BBC’s acquisition budget allocated to British films with a guaranteed £50 million over the next charter period subject to the outcome of the licence fee settlement.
This increased investment is part of a new BBC film strategy setting out clear objectives for the way the BBC can support and participate in British film for the duration of the next charter.
The five key points of the BBC strategy are:-
1. Increase BBC TV channel support for British films with the launch of a new BBC channel strategy for film, including extra commitment to new talent on BBC Three.
2. Increase the proportion of acquisition spend directed to UK film for feature films that could play on BBC One and Two. The BBC will invest a guaranteed £5 million a year over the next charter period for this purpose (with scope for a potential further £5 million a year).
3. Help stimulate indigenous British feature film production through a minimum 50% increase to BBC Films’s budget.
4. Continue to drive innovation and awareness of film across the BBC’s media outlets;
5. With the BBC’s partners, continue to support British talent, training and development.
As well as the massive boost for British film production and acquisition, the UK Film Council and the BBC will pool resources in partnership with Skillset and the British Film Institute giving audiences more choice to film and cinema through the Uk Film Council’s Digital Screen Network, and the BBC’s Creative Archive; developing and supporting creativity and skills to ensure the UK attracts the brightest and the best talent in to the film industry through the Film Skills Training Strategy A Bigger Future and through the Film Network; and encouraging public participation and increasing opportunities for learning through First Light and the Charter for media literacy.
Commenting on this new creative partnership, John Woodward, Chief Executive Officer of the UK Film Council said:
“Our new partnership backed by the substantial increase of the BBC’s films budget is a real boost for the British film industry. We know the general public want to see more British films; recent Ofcom research showed that film on TV was more important to the public than soaps. We’ve always worked well with the BBC in the past, but we have a now have a unique opportunity to put this relationship on a new footing sharing the same mission to ensure that more British films are made and shown on the BBC channels.”
Stewart Till CBE, Chairman of the UK Film Council said:
“Over the next charter period we could see almost a doubling of the BBC’s acquisition budget from £6 million a year up to £11 million a year which means more people will get to see more British films on their television. Coupled with the BBC’s commitment to increase production spend by a minimum 50% from £10 million a year to £15 million a year means that more British films will be made. Together this increased investment is a formidable boost for the British film industry.”
Jana Bennett, BBC Director of Television said:
“Films make a huge contribution to the mix of content on offer to British TV viewers. By investing this acquisition money in UK films we are ensuring that television audiences have access to a mix of movies which includes the very best of British. The newly defined roles of each of the channels in broadcasting film will also help viewers find the movies that they love on the free to air channels that they trust.”
Alan Yentob, Creative Director of the BBC said:
“BBC Films has a unique place in the UK film industry as a supporter of projects which would otherwise not make it onto the big screen. Many of these have made a huge impact with critical and commercial success including A Cock & Bull Story, Iris, Dirty Pretty Things, Bullet Boy, Mrs Henderson Presents, In This World, Match Point and Billy Elliot. Increased investment will broaden the portfolio of films we can bring to the screen enhancing the BBC’s contribution to the UK film industry.”