Nik Darlington 11.20am
David Cameron has today announced the Government will extend film tax relief until the end of December 2015, following competition approval from the European Commission.
The film tax relief provided £95 million of support to the £1 billion British film industry in 2009/10, according to a ‘cultural test’. Films that qualified under this test include Brighton Rock, Coriolanus (right) and Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows.
In February, our in-house thespian and film critic Jack Blackburn criticised the Government’s decision to axe the UK Film Council, saying that films such as the celebrated King’s Speech could not have been produced without up-front assistance.
The UKFC had an aim to support British filmmaking, through lottery funding for production and distribution, as well as promoting Britain as a location for international film. It was a cornerstone for a thriving industry, whose achievements were numerous. Most striking is that for every £1 of the £160 million invested over the past decade, it generated £5.
And in August, Jack covered a British Film Institute report which revealed that the UK film industry contributed £3.3 billion to the national economy in 2010.
Film is clearly an important export for the UK and no longer just because Brits make good toffs, spies and villains in Hollywood flicks. Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said:
The huge success of British films at the Oscars, the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs this year is clear recognition of our world-class talent and creativity. But as a vital creative industry, it also has huge potential for economic growth. Film tax relief is at the heart of our drive to support the production of culturally British films within a sustainable and vibrant industry. I’m delighted that we can give certainty to the industry for the next four years.
Any Government support, in a year that it seemed as though support was lacking, is very welcome. Especially when there’s the possibility of economic growth to be mentioned.