Only one of 37 UK single project drama applications gets support in latest round.
The UK and other major European territories fared badly in the latest round of Creative Europe single project (film and TV) development grants at the end of October, causing consternation among some producers.
The UK submitted more than 50 applications for animation, documentary and drama development funding and received backing for four projects: three animations, one drama.
The four UK companies (Aardman, Red Star 3D, Blue Zoo and Optimism Films) were awarded a total of €230,000 from an EU-wide total of €5.5m for single projects.
However, there were 37 applications for single project drama development support with one success, equating to a success rate of 3%.
The UK wasn’t alone in missing out. France fared even worse, with only two animation projects supported from 68 total applications for single projects.
Italy drew backing for only six of 70 applications while Germany fared slightly better gaining support for 7 of 39 applications.
By contrast, smaller markets fared better proportionately. Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Slovenia and Slovakia were among markets to achieve success rates of 50% in at least one application category.
One UK producer Screen spoke to said: “There seems to have been a clampdown on UK drama. It’s bizarre. It can’t simply be that the quality is bad across the board. I know of some very strong applications this year that were knocked back with some strange feedback.”
“The EU funds aren’t usually cliquey like some other funds we know. This can’t be because our drama is suddenly deemed to be bad but I know some producers will be reluctant to apply in future.”
One EU source close to the application process said that in previous years large markets could expect close to 25% success rate but that a combination of the growing number of new markets applying for development support and a lack of internationally oriented applications from the larger markets meant money was harder to come by.
Projects are currently awarded money through a points-based system, with the current model awarding automatic points to countries with low production capacities, for applications aimed at young audiences and for applications with co-producers from countries not sharing the same language.
Another EU source Screen spoke to cast doubt over the future of the current points-based structure.
UK slate development applications fared better than single project applications with three companies successful out of 15.
F&ME and Matador Pictures were awarded €180k each and Spring Films €76k.
In the same round of funding eight UK companies were awarded a total of €2.5m to produce fiction, creative documentary and animation programmes through the TV Programming scheme.