Tuesday, 20 April 2010
UKFC 2010-2013 Plan
The UK Film Council released its three year plan this month, a rough outline of their priorities and spending plans for the next three years. They know (and they acknowledge in the report) that funding is in danger and that the outcome of the election will determine the flow of money. The Olympics have also drained Lottery money away from the UKFC's pot.
It's not really a huge change of direction, as their number one priority continues to be funding films. Sadly, distribution and exhibition are number FOUR in their priority list. So, no change there, eh? And they lump distribution and exhibition all in the same category, with a paltry £300,000 over three years for what they call 'cross-art forms venues'. Meanwhile, distributors (including major studios) are getting £2,000,000 in prints and advertising funds. It seems nobody has learnt anything.
The only support that exhibitors are getting is the lobbying, organisational and logistical support for the Digital Funding Partnership which is a buying group for digital kit for independent (but not arthouse) cinemas. What is the point in spending tens of millions of pounds on films that no cinema in Britain will play because they receive no funding to do so? The most successful British cinema is either Hollywood-backed proven properties (Harry Potter, Bond) or high quality arthouse (Loach, Leigh) and everything in between simply fails to find an audience. Don't believe me? The UKFC's own data says that only 44% of films shot between 2003 and 2006 found a theatrical release within two years of production. It's not enough to fund these films - we have to find cinemas to play them.
A free DVD for the first person who can name the cinema in the picture, a gorgeous 1930s palace now crumbling away.