The UK Film Council (UKFC) has appointed partnership agency Film Tree to develop advertiser-funded opportunities in film production.

Film Tree will act as a matchmaker between brands and producers in a bid to build commercial relationships that will support film production.

The company is currently in talks with brands on behalf of UK producers on a slate of eight different projects, some of which could go into production in the first quarter of next year. Film Tree’s contract with the UKFC runs for two years.

Potential deals could see brands gaining an equity stake in film projects, or acquiring distribution rights across different territories, as well as being integrated into the films.

The move is part of the UKFC’s  plan to find new ways of financing production and distribution in the digital age.

It is hoped the move will give film companies better access to brand financing, offer new ways of engaging with audiences, and promote closer working relationships between the creative industries.

John Woodward (pictured), chief executive of the UK Film Council, said: “Essentially we are establishing a partnership that will enable brands to speak more directly to film-makers about financing new films, creating a genuine fit between the brand and the film project looking for production finance.”

Ed Sharp, partner at Film Tree, said that branded entertainment can be an engaging element to a brand’s marketing campaign and can deliver “tangible returns on investment”.

He added: “The market is in a place where producers are very up for this. And we are working with brands who understand the content area.”