Screen International will bring film-makers and financiers together to consider newly-emerging finance structures and how to maximise funding and commercial opportunities in an ever-tougher market at its annual UK Film Finance Summit.

The conference on October 16 at London's Waldorf Hilton comes at a critical time for the independent industry in the UK and beyond.

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A worsening economy has added to a market already undergoing profound change but the conference will attempt to focus on ways to progress.

Industry experts will address topics such as new finance models, how to secure investment from a variety of sources, and opportunities in brand partnership.

Confirmed speakers include Jeremy Hunt, Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, John Woodward of the UK Film Council, Mark Herbert of Warp Films, Tessa Ross of Channel 4 and Jamie Kantrowitz of MySpace.

Jonathon Olsberg of Olsberg SPI will chair the conference while Jeremy Hunt will deliver the keynote presentation. He will focus on an alternative blueprint for a sustainable British film industry.

Highlights include a financiers panel session and a digital case study. The panel will consist of Paul Brett of Prescience fund, Ian Hutchinson of Bank of Ireland and Ivan MacTaggart of Limelight. Mark Herbert will present the digital case study and will cover the issue of innovative finance structures and business models for the digital era of film.

Olswang Partner, James Kay and James Graydon of Tenon Media will also be on hand to give guidance on current film finance and tax credit rules.

'This conference comes at an important time for the UK industry which, like the rest of the world, is facing severe challenges,' said Michael Gubbins, editor of Screen International.

'But what remains true is undiminished customer demand and the summit will concentrate on how to match finance and business models to the opportunities.'