MANCHESTER INDIE FILM: UK FILM COUNCIL ABOLISHED – AFTERMATH

4 thoughts on “MANCHESTER INDIE FILM: UK FILM COUNCIL ABOLISHED – AFTERMATH”

  1. come on now, this was meant to guardian article waiting to be unleashed yes?. i will keep annoying you until you are a big famous writer.

  2. The UKFC supported a great number of films and it was definitely the driving force behind Billy Elliot. Sometimes it missed. That happens with any kind of public body or arts council that is under pressure to fulfil its remit and take on new projects that they dont know will make any money or not. They had to take risks all the time and because they did not everyone is going to get what they want. I mean, does this even happening in the USA? If they don’t win competitions they have to pay for everything so who are we to complain?

  3. Except the UKFC tried to avoid risk by playing safe and sticking to filmmakers they know. Most of the funding went to the same people again and again (like Andrea Arnold for example), resulting in many similar films with limited box office appeal. A friend of mine has just been awarded Green Shoots short film funding, but all the control has been taken from him-instead of a (independent) director he knows and trusts, the conditions of the funding compel him to accept the funding body’s choice. Someone they’ve worked with before.

  4. For British films to have any success they have to have access to audiences. UK mainstream multiplex cinema chains are largely owned by either the Hollywood studios, or by far from transparent American funds. On top of this, if they want to screen the latest block-busters they can only do so on the Studios’ terms – which include block-booking, unseen, lower budget Hollywood studio. It’s a sad fact that the only ‘British’ films which get a general release are ones to which Hollywood owns the rights.

    And it doesn’t matter how popular your film may be – “Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll” (Hollywood would never buy and distribute that ) had larger audiences wherever they managed to get it booked, than all but the blockbusters – so did “An Education” and “44 inch Chest”, to name but a few – but that didn’t get them booked by your local multiplex.

    It’s a similar story when it comes to the Art Houses (like The Cornerhouse). These are all part of the ‘Cine-europa’ network and are centrally programmed by the ICO in London. And the EU pays them to exhibit ‘non-British European films”.

    If your film’s not on in enough cinemas for anyone to notice you sell very few DVDs; and you might just be lucky enough to get it screened somewhere in the bowels of broadcasting for enough money to buy a second hand car.

    Of course there are people who’ll argue that you could sell DVDs from your website – but if you load them up with all the extras that people expect, you’ll either have to pay the BBFC £2,500 or more, or face a massive fine and a two-year prison sentence.

    Did the UKFC do anything to change any of this? Errrr No.

    Oh, and by the way, no Hollywood film makes any money – Warner’s Harry Potter films have grossed something like $4 billion, but they still haven’t made a profit. This is all because of the way that Hollywood is allowed to cook the books. They use ‘shell’ companies so that they can grab production tax breaks, establish distribution subsidiaries which bill the parent company for services, they sell the TV rights to their own TV companies for huge amounts, and so on. The result is that all the money ends up in other parts of their empire whilst, Hey Presto, Warners doesn’t make any money so there are never any royalties.

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