Adrian Wootton says there will be a distinctly separate unit that will be UK-branded to work on UK-wide inward investment and export of British films.
Film London is to take on the UKFC’s inward investment functions for film, through a public-private partnership with film industry bodies including Pinewood Studios Group, UK Screen Association and the Production Guild, it was confirmed by UK Culture Minister Ed Vaizey this morning.
Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London, noted that there would be “a distinctly separate unit, nationally branded, that will focus on inward investment. It will be a UK-branded unit,” not just concentrating on the capital.
He added that the unit would have an advisory committee established including representatives from nations and regions and industry players.
Its aim will be to “promote the UK internationally as the best place to make films bringing vital investment in the country while strengthening the domestic industry, in terms of talent, facilities and opportunities.”
Wootton was unable to say if or how the office of the British Film Commissioner (currently Colin Brown) would change as of yet, only to say that the functions of that office will come into Film London’s inward investment unit. Brown wasn’t immediately available for comment.
Film London will not be wrapped into the new Creative England body, which will combine the work of the eight existing regional screen agencies. Film London will instead work side by side with Creative England.
When asked why a historically London-centric organisation would be entrusted with UK-wide inward investment and export duties, Wootton responded: “We already work closely with inward investment in terms of location services and supporting productions in England. We already have a lot of that activity. Also we run the London UK Film Focus and Production Finance Market which are both national/international.We have a lot of skills and expertise in this area.” In recent years, Film London also has funded networking trips to emerging markets such as Shanghai, Beijing and Mumbai.
In terms of export, Film London will work alongside BAFTA, the BFI and BBC Worldwide to build on “existing capacities and connections to explore showcasing and promoting Brit films in the US.” Vaizey also confirmed that current activities such as support for UK industry at film festivals and markets would continue after the UKFC abolition.
Wootton added in a statement that he was “delighted the DCMS has awarded Film London with this national remit. The government’s commitment to this area of work, and the effective tax credit, demonstrates its understanding of how important a strong, vibrant and busy film production industry is in creating employment opportunities in the UK and making a significant contribution to the country’s economy.”
Film London currently has 30 staff members, any changes in staffing or structure won’t be known until due diligence is done.
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