rye lane

Source: Searchlight Pictures

‘Rye Lane’

The UK government is launching a wide-ranging inquiry into the many challenges facing the UK’s film and high-end TV industry via the House of Commons’ Culture, Media and Sport (CMS) Committee. 

It will look at everything from what can be done to maintain the UK’s status as a global hub for international production to how independent producers can best be supported. Other issues under discussions include skills and retention in the industry and the best way in which the film and TV sector can deal with AI.

The inquiry comes at a time when theUK exhibition sector is reeling following the collapse of the Empire Cinemas group and the ongoing financial problems at Cineworld;  the UK inward investment sector is dealing with ongoing fall-out from the US WGA and SAG-AFTRA writers’ and actors’ strikes; the film and high-end tax reliefs are being revised, and the independent production sector is struggling due to rising costs. 

The committee is soliciting contributions from anyone with potential answers to the following questions. Submissions must be received by September 19, 2023.

  • How attractive is the UK as a global destination for the production of film and high-end television?
    • What are the barriers to maintaining and increasing overseas investment in the sector?
    • What are the benefits and challenges of overseas investment for the UK’s film-making capacity?
  • What are the current challenges facing the UK’s independent film production sector?
    • What is the demand for and capacity for production of films with a clear British identity?
    • Are the nations and regions of the UK adequately represented and supported in the production of British films?
  • What more can be done to incentivise film and high-end television production in the UK?
    • Are the current funding routes, tax credits and governance for the industry fit for purpose?
  • What are the issues facing the UK’s film exhibition sector?
  • What more can be done to protect and promote the UK’s screen heritage?
  • What can the industry and Government do to ensure British film and high-end television can adapt for the future?
    • What should be prioritised to ensure a strong skills pipeline and retention in the film and high-end TV industry?
    • What are the risks and benefits of artificial intelligence to the sector?
    • What needs to change to ensure the industry is supporting inclusivity and sustainability.

The CMS committee is chaired by Conservative MP Caroline Dinenage. Announcing the inquiry, Dinenage hailed the UK’s part in the success of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, which was shot at Leavesden, and spoke of the importance of “ensuring independent films, similar to recent hits Rye Lane and Aftersun can be made and seen.”

The other committee members are MPs Steve Brine (Conservative), Julie Elliott   (Labour), Rupa Huq   (Labour), John Nicolson  (SNP), Giles Watling  (Conservative), Kevin Brennan  Labour), Clive Efford  (Labour), Damian Green  (Conservative), Simon Jupp  (Conservative)  and Jane Stevenson  (Conservative). 

Alongside film and TV, the committee also scrutinises everything from gambling regulation to football governance reform.