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EM Media closes for business

Regional screen agency EM Media, which co-financed films such as This is England and Control, is to close.

Set up in 2001 by the now defunct UK Film Council, EM Media distributed Lottery film funds throughout the East Midlands until October 2012, when its lottery remit transferred to the newly established Creative England.

Over the course of a decade, it also raised more than £6m in European funding to invest in the region’s film and media sector and co-financed 42 features including award-winners Tyrannosaur, Control, Bronson, Weekend and This is England.  It generated more than £180m spend in the local economy.

The agency also supported Warp Films, the Sheffield-based production company behind the films of Shane Meadows and Chris Morris among others.

In addition, it helped kick-start filmmaking careers through the production of 100 short films and several debut features, all of which will soon be made available for the public to access for the first time. The Media Archive for Central England (MACE) at the University of Lincoln will house the complete EM Media short and feature film collection.

MACE director James Patterson said: “It is an impressive and significant body of work that captures the spirit of the era in which the films were made, that can only add to our knowledge, understanding and appreciation of filmmaking in the East Midlands.  

“The collection features internationally recognised and award winning titles as well as early work of established filmmakers. 

“Our first class storage facilities at the University of Lincoln offer the perfect conditions in which to store the collection to ensure its availability and accessibility for many years to come.”

Lisa Opie, chair of EM Media’s board, said: “It is sad when good things come to an end.  However we’re confident in the knowledge that the British Film Institute and Creative England have already begun to take up the mantle.  

“Already we have seen talent from the East Midlands region, many of whom have benefited from development with EM Media, be selected for Creative England’s ifeatures scheme.  Regional cinemas have never been in better shape and look set to benefit from new BFI culture hub initiatives.  

“We welcome these new opportunities for regional talent and feel proud to have contributed towards their foundations and played a part in their continuing success. The creative sector in the East Midlands is in a much stronger shape than it was ten years ago and individual careers have flourished as a result of support and investment.  

“If EM Media has contributed to the strength of the creative sector in the East Midlands and to high quality British filmmaking more broadly then we, the board, are very proud of this achievement. We would like to thank all the staff, past and present, who have contributed to EM Media’s significant success and also to the talented creatives, businesses and partners we have worked with over the years.”

Creative England was established in October 2011 to replace the Regional Screen Agencies and become the designated body in receipt of DCMS funds via the British Film Institute (BFI) for the delivery of film service outside London.

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