UK film superbody the Film Council, which went live this week, is to pump a share of its own revenues from films back into independent production companies in a bid to help build a sustainable local industry.
The boost will come from films backed through the Council's main fund for commercially-oriented projects, the annual $14.6m (£10m) Premiere Fund, and its fund for lower budget projects, the $7.3m (£5m) New Cinema Fund. The cash is to be allocated on a discretionary and confidential basis for companies to use in pre-approved areas such as future projects, training and business development.
The council also aims to share rights with production companies so that they can build up libraries or shares in libraries.
"This is a major part of creating a sustainable British film industry," said Premiere Fund manager Robert Jones, himself a former independent producer. "We want emerging companies to see themselves as longer-term businesses'Production companies have not previously had the resources to be more professional."
The intention was applauded by Bertrand Moullier, head of film at UK producer's body PACT. He pointed out that producers are typically last in the recoupment chain from films and stand to make only 2.5% to 3% in fees. The Council's revenues are likely to kick in before producers' fees. Moullier's only concern about the move was that it was discretionary.