The UK Film Council has revised the terms of its deals with producers when awarding its National Lottery funding after complaints that producers were not receiving a big enough share of profits.
The change in funding guidelines will apply to all applications for lottery funding to the organisation's New Cinema Fund for risk-taking films and the Premiere Fund for mainstream films from April 1.
The council will offer all UK producers the opportunity to receive 5% of the money recouped by the council against its investment from first dollar. Currently, the producer's corridor on films only becomes accessible once the council has recouped a certain level of its investment in a film.
John Woodward, chief executive of the council, said that by opening the door wider to producers he hoped "to encourage the growth of sustainability within the sector". The revenues freed up are for producers to reinvest in their businesses through training, development, marketing and business planning.
"By simplifying the terms, we are accelerating the route for producers to benefit from the success of their films and to reinvest in their own businesses," he said. "In addition, producers are being incentivised - the more revenue returned from international distribution, the more revenue returns to the producer."
The council's funds have been under pressure to recoup a substantial amount of their investment to fuel the body's array of other activities as well as to make lottery cash more of an investment that an award. Impressively, the council has recouped half of the lottery coin it has invested in movies released since it was founded in 2000.
But Premiere Fund chief Robert Jones and New Cinema Fund head Paul Trijbits have always said that they wanted producers to benefit from successful films. Director-producer Gurinder Chadha this year told the all-party select committee on film that she had still "not made a penny from the UK as a producer" of Bend It Like Beckham, the council's most profitable picture.
Ronnie Planalp, director of film for Pact, welcomed the council's new commitment. "The idea of rewarding performance by channelling revenue back into UK production companies is central to PACT's view on how to build a sustainable film industry," she said. "This is the most market-driven way to ensure that success is rewarded."