Tuesday, 28 July 2009


When I say that the balance of public funding for the film industry is out of whack and that production receives a disproportionate amount of the funds available, I am not making this stuff up. The UK Film Council, in their 2009 Statistical Yearbook, outline public spending on film in 2008 as follows:

In millions
Production - £159.2
Distribution & Exhibition - £35.2
Training and skills - £21.4
Education - £18.4
Admin - £17.9
Archives - £12.1
Script development - £7.7
Export promotion - £6.7
Business support - £5.6

Notice how distribution and exhibition are bundled together. The figure of £35.2 million doesn't reflect the breakdown between the two completely different industries, and nowhere in the report is the split shown. Since 2006/07, when the UKFC spent £11 million on the Digital Screen Network, there hasn't been almost any investment in exhibition at all, despite the danger of closing many single screen and independent cinemas find themselves in, particularly in small towns and rural areas.

Another fact hidden by these figures is that the figures for training, script development, export promotion and business support are all accessories to production. None of these were available to exhibitors.

With multiplexes not supporting any British cinema apart from the Potters and the Bonds, where are all these fantastic homegrown pictures meant to be screened?

1 comment:

  1. OK, so the likes of Sleep Furiously and Fish Tank are never going to be given any time by the Multiplexes... But I am AMAZED at how few screens Moon is showing on (and how well it appears to be doing, despite of this.) Yes, it's a "Sony Pictures Classic" but it's a British Movie (imdb says so!) - and a fine one at that. Crawley Cineworld (best of a bad bunch) isn't even screening it on one of its tiny upstairs screens. I like my "trash" as much as any film fan; but I'm glad that there are places like The Duke Of York's and The Forum in Northampton (where I lived before I moved to Brighton) that offer me more than Big Robots hitting each other, Boy Wizards and lame Rom-Coms!
    My Favourite British Movies? The Crying Game, Local Hero, A Canterbury Tale, Withnail & I...