UK Film Council unveils latest strategy with £1.5m festival fund

"The fact that the UKFC is supporting off-line events, specifically film festivals, is good news for  cinema lovers on this dull, damp island." Eliot Grove,

uk_film_council_logoThe UK Film Council have unveiled new additional funding plans from now until 2010, including a £1.5m annual festivals fund, and further money for archive, digitisations, online promotion and partnerships. "The UK Film Council's recognition that film festivals need significant support is very welcome", Leeds International Film Fest director Chris Fell told Netribution. "I hope that the new fund prioritises and fully supports the outstanding work of regional film festivals across the country as substantial and sustained support from the UK Film Council will help them deliver unprecedented access for countrywide audiences to the real world of cinema" Chris said. Time will tell if the new funds will support projects outside of the big players and regions, or if it will be more high level funding for London and Edinburgh Festivals

"I hope that the new fund prioritises and fully supports the outstanding work of regional film festivals across the country"
Chris Fell, Leeds Int. Film Festival
While the marketing of online films will be supported with up to £2m, it appears there's no money specifically for web or software projects that support, develop and promote filmmakers, as Spain and some Scandinavian countries have begun to offer (although given that the consultation document 'A Digital Future' failed to mention the word Internet once, this is small surpise).

Further information is also awaited guiding principles the Digital Film Archive Fund will use in administering money to archives. If it is used to put archive material freely online in a platform-neutral and usable format (Creative Archive or Creative Commons), then the UK could at least catch up with the US where projects such as have released some fantastic treasures into the public domain. 

The new funds are:

  • UK Film Festivals Fund  - £1.5 million per year – to create a thriving film festival scene in the UK giving the public better access to the rich world of cinema in all its diversity;
  • UK Digital Film Archives Fund - £1 million per year – to open up access to the nation’s unparalleled film heritage across the UK;
  • Partnership Challenge Fund - £1 million per year – bringing new funding partnerships together to widen public participation in film, initially with the following priorities:
- media literacy and film education;
- cinema capital funding;
- cinema access and inclusion initiatives;
- London 2012 Olympic related film initiatives;
  • Digitisation and Marketing Fund – £2 million per year - building on our existing Prints and Advertising Fund with additional funding focusing on wider theatrical and online distribution of British and specialised film;
  • Marketing Testing Fund - £1 million per year from the existing Premiere Fund will be used to market test British films.  Any British film will be able to apply for funding not just those supported by the Premiere Fund.