Brexit could break the British film industry


Britain’s exit could have a huge impact on the film industry

By Scott Mills

Since Britain left the European Union, the value of the the British pound has fallen and the country’s future has drifted into uncertainty.

Businesses who would previously trade with European countries, will now have to pay tariffs and fees to export and import goods.

By helping to fund the British film industry by £45 million to export their goods to Europe between 2007-2013, the withdrawal from the EU could impact the world’s third largest film entertainment industry massively.

It could also mean that less well-known, translated foreign language films that make up 35% of British cinema could also disappear.

However, like Britain’s future, there is still some uncertainty hovering over the industry.

With the value of the Sterling plummeting, exporting English film across Europe could become even more expensive due to exiting the European Union

With the value of the Sterling plummeting, exporting English film across Europe could become even more expensive due to exiting the European Union


So here is what could happen to the industry that gave us the Harry Potter franchise, over the coming months.

A lot less money is available:

According to figures provided by influential figures within the industry, the European Union’s media programme provided British film with £105 million over the last eight years.

With Britain leaving the European Union, removing this kind of funding will directly affect the business operations of hundreds of companies and agencies, of whom 55% are based in London.

Removing their huge contributions towards British-film production budgets, the companies will now have to rely on funding from the National Lottery, who have provided £431 million to the industry since 1994.

The European Union also helps to support distributors and festivals, whilst generally encouraging the spread of British film across the continent.

The UK will also now not only need to reach distribution agreements with individual countries but also encourage and promote the spread of their films by themselves.

European film festival that celebrates European films

European film festival that celebrates European films


Co-productions are in big trouble:

The barriers in front of British film-makers looking for European partners will now be even bigger and it will be exactly the same for Europeans looking for British partners.

In the past, countries were able to agree to be co-production partners as they had to abide by the European convention rules.

Now, in order to be a production partner with a British-film organisation, there will need to be series of individual co-production rules with every country involved.

Producers who have finalised their finances in film with any Eurodollar element will also find themselves significantly out of funds due to the drop in value for the Sterling

The award winning Son of Saul

The award winning Son of Saul


European films could disappear from British cinemas and vica versa:

Due to the worth of sterling dropping significantly, European films have now become more expensive for British distributors to purchase.

As the benefits of exporting and importing film within Europe disappear, barriers and tariffs could intervene meaning supply would eventually dry up.

Whilst we would still see the likes of high-profile award-winning films such as the ‘Son of Saul’, the lesser known films that only get here through the EU will no longer be seen.

The exit will also make it increasingly difficult for British film producers to sell their products in one of the biggest trading areas.

Over the past decade, 40% of the UK’s film exports had been to Europe.

However, feature films, television programmes and games were able travel far more easily across borders without quotas or taxes in Europe, that British distributors will now have to deal with.



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