DCMS and BFI launch UK Global Screen fund to boost exports of UK content

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the BFI have launched the UK Global Screen Fund, a one-year pilot fund designed to boost international development and distribution opportunities for the UK’s independent screen sector.

The £7m fund will target support across the screen sector, including narrative games, TV, animation and documentary content. Financed by DCMS and administered by the BFI, it will focus on accelerating export growth, boosting revenues to independent UK screen companies and deepening international relationships.

The fund is aimed at boosting the international competitiveness of UK screen content whilst growing the revenue and sustainability of domestic independent businesses. Additionally, the fund is designed to help develop and produce projects with international appeal, expand the worldwide distribution of UK content and encourage collaboration with international partners.

“The United Kingdom has an independent screen industry to be proud of. World renowned, our film, TV, video game and animation industries create jobs and growth the length and breadth of the UK,” said Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden. “The UK Global Screen Fund will export the extraordinary talent and creativity of the UK to audiences across the globe, supporting our talented filmmakers and screen businesses to compete and grow.”

“Today’s announcement of the £7m pilot UK Global Screen Fund will deliver a vital boost to the UK’s exceptional independent screen sector by stimulating international partnerships and generating new export opportunities,” added BFI CEO Ben Roberts. “As we look to this weekend’s Oscars, and the incredible line up of UK nominees, it’s clear our screen industries continue to punch above their weight internationally, and contribute significantly to the UK economy. It’s vital we continue to build on the global impact of our diverse and brilliant independent screen content, enabling the creativity and success for which the UK is so renowned.”

The pilot UK Global Screen Fund is led by Neil Peplow, Director of International Affairs BFI, and will allocate funding to three open access strands:

  • International distribution funding: support for sales and distribution of one or more UK feature films (drama, documentary, animation) in international territories.
  • International business development: financial support for business strategies that drive international growth and IP development for companies working in film, TV (animation, drama and documentary) and interactive narrative gaming.
  • Co-Production investment: support for UK companies to be partners in international productions, sharing IP and revenue on film and TV animation and documentary projects with audience potential.

Alongside the financial support, the UK Global Screen Fund will drive and fund a new international promotional campaign. The campaign, informed by newly commissioned audience perception research focusing on key international territories, will “engage global audiences and reflect the extraordinary quality and diversity of screen content coming from the UK.” It is set to go live later this year, and will showcase UK screen content through multi-territory promotion of talent, content, and companies.

Beyond the UK Global Screen Fund, further investment will support research into a new data hub, which will explore the possibility of providing international data that can allow financiers, screen content creators, sales agents and distributors to make better-informed decisions, establishing an evidence base to compete internationally, in order to enhance the UK screen sector’s global opportunities.

“Games businesses across the UK are creating world class stories that capture the imaginations of millions,” said Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie. “It is critical that the UK Global Screen Fund continues to evolve and plays a key role in helping interactive entertainment companies to deliver cultural value, whilst supporting innovative creative companies around the UK.”

About Chris Wallace

Chris is MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer, joining the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can regrettably be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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