UK filmmakers benefited from over Euros 2.8m (£1.9m) of MEDIA programme investment into their companies this year.

The UK MEDIA desk recorded that 18.6% of the total Euros15m of development funding went to UK film projects.

2003 is the first year that the UK has received the largest share of funding - ahead of France (Euros 2.6m) and Germany (Euros 2.0m).

A total of 778 applications from the UK were received in Brussels in comparison with 574 in 2002 and 352 in 2001.

Companies that joined the pool of UK slate funding recipients include Blackwatch Productions, Brook Lapping Productions, Cheeky Productions, Cyclops Films, Fiction Factory, Fragile Films, Gruber Films, Optical Image, Q.I., Random Harvest Pictures, Scala Productions, Sixteen Films, Slate Films, Steve Walsh Productions, The Bureau Film Company, Two Sides TV, Film and Music Entertainment and Recorded Picture Company.

The newcomers from Eastern Europe received Euros 1.2m in total, which corresponds to 8.2% of the total funding available in 2003.

UK MEDIA Desk director Agnieszka Moody said: 'We are delighted with this result, especially since this year we see a lot of our clients amongst the successful applicants; companies that chose to ask for our advice and support and benefited from it.'

The new Call for Development Proposals will be published on 3 December 2003 and will have two deadlines during 2004: 15 March and 31 May.