British companies received nearly $12m (€9m) in funding from the MEDIA Programme in 2012.

More than 100 UK companies received nearly $12m (€9m) in MEDIA funding awards last year, a boost of $2.1m (€1.6m) on 2011, according to annual report MEDIA in the UK 2012.

In addition, a further $10m (€7.6m) was invested in the distribution of more than 50 British films in other European countries. 

The report revealed that 33 UK production companies shared $4.7m (€3.6m) of funding which helped to develop and produce fiction, documentary, animation and interactive projects for the international market.

Several projects funded by the MEDIA development scheme completed production in 2012, including Mike Newell’s Great Expectations, Jeremy Thomas-produced Kon-Tiki and Neil Jordan’s Byzantium.

The MEDIA Programme supported cinema releases of British films on the continent with the largest amount of nearly $1.3m (€1m) going to Quartet, followed by $1m (€800,000) for Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and $790,000 (€600,000) for Working Title’s I Give it a Year

In the UK, distributors released 20 European films with MEDIA-support including Cannes and Oscar-winning drama Amour as well as A Royal Affair, The Hunt and Love is All you Need.

Artificial Eye was one of three successful applicants who took advantage of new MEDIA funding, leading an international distribution initiative called EDAD, which will experiment with simultaneous releases across multiple platforms and territories.

Power to the Pixel’s The Pixel Market, Sheffield Doc/Fest’s MeetMarket, Film London’s Production Finance Market, BRITDOC’s Good Pitch, Encounters Short Film Festival and Leeds International Film Festival have all secured funding for their 2013 editions, whilst UK training providers offered nine international training programmes, including Inside Pictures, Transmedia Next and Transform@Lab.

In addition, 50 independent cinemas including Bristol’s Watershed, Sheffield Showroom, Belfast Film Theatre and Glasgow Film Theatre received support totalling $1.2m (€900,000) from Europa Cinemas for programming a high percentage of European films.

With MEDIA due to expire at the end of the year, last year saw negotiations on the successor programme, Creative Europe. The final shape and budget of the new programme is still subject to negotiations. 

The latest proposal, which reflects EU budget cuts agreed in February, includes a 9% increase on current funding levels, which will allow for the launch of the new financing facility to encourage commercial lending to the creative industries.

Agnieszka Moody, director of MEDIA Desk UK, said: “I am particularly pleased with the range of the awards.  In 2012 UK companies successfully accessed all of MEDIA’s 16 funding schemes.

“A wide array of businesses benefited from the support, from producers through to distributors, exhibitors, festivals, sales agents and film schools.  Successful applicants came from all nations and many regions of the UK; in England alone we’ve got beneficiaries from Nottingham, Newcastle and Brighton.”