Reports show positive economic impact of EU’s MEDIA Programme on the UK

MEDIA Desk UK has published two reports this summer, both demonstrating the crucial economic impact of the European Union’s MEDIA Programme on the UK’s audiovisual industry.

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Survey of the UK’s MEDIA Programme funding recipients 2001-2011

MEDIA Desk UK asked 400 audiovisual companies in the UK that have benefitted from MEDIA funding over the last decade to detail the impact the funding had on the growth of their businesses and the international potential of their projects. Results show that MEDIA has had a crucial impact on maximising the international market potential of UK projects, growing businesses, and sustaining jobs in the industry.

One respondent said: “We have gone, thanks to MEDIA development funding, from a one- person operation in a back room to a fully-equipped studio with a full-time development team - part financed by MEDIA grants but also because we were able to develop programmes without undue pressure on completing the development process. The result was stronger programmes that have sold all around the world.”

Other findings from the survey include:

  • 82% of producers who received a MEDIA Development grant felt the funding had been “very effective” or “effective” in improving the quality of the script.
  • 80% of producers felt the MEDIA Programme Development grant had been “very effective” or “effective” in helping maximise the international market potential of the project.
  • 93% of producers who received MEDIA funding more than once felt it was “very effective” or “effective” in contributing to the sustainability of their overall development activities.

The survey will provide valuable evidence in discussions relating to the future of MEDIA. The results offer important insights into the impact of public funding on SMEs in the audiovisual sector, which will contribute to Europe-wide negotiations, helping the UK Government make an informed decision as part of the consultation on the European Commission’s proposal for the post-2014 successor to the MEDIA and Culture programmes: Creative Europe.

A summary and the full report of the survey of the UK’s MEDIA Programme funding recipients 2001-2011 can be downloaded from MEDIA Desk UK’s website.

MEDIA in the UK 2011

MEDIA Desk UK has also just published MEDIA in the UK 2011, a report detailing all funding awards made by MEDIA to UK companies and films in 2011. Over 70 companies in the UK received MEDIA support, sharing over €7.4m (£5.9m).

A further €6.8m (£5.4m) was invested in over 50 UK films to support their distribution across the rest of Europe. Phyllida Lloyd’s Margaret Thatcher biopic The Iron Lady received over €1.5m to help it travel across Europe, whilst Tom Hooper’s Academy Award®-winning The King’s Speech and Mike Leigh’s Another Year received €500,086 and €367,025 respectively. A range of less commercial titles from newer UK talent also had their audiences boosted in European countries outside the UK: Steve McQueen’s Shame, Richard Ayoade’s Submarine, Paddy Considine’s Tyrannosaur and Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights all benefitted from MEDIA distribution funding.

European distributors brought a range of European titles to cinemas with MEDIA funding that totalled €783,500, including the Dardenne brothers’ Le gamin au vélo (The Kid with a Bike), Aki Kaurismäki’s Le Havre and Nanni Moretti’s Habemus Papam (We Have a Pope).

Film and new media production companies received over €2 million for the development of their fiction, documentary, animation and interactive projects. Funded companies include Attractive Entertainment, Lupus Films, Sigma Films and Sixteen Films.

Three film schools in the UK benefited from support for joint international training initiatives in 2011: Scotland’s Edinburgh Napier University, the London Film School and the University of Wales, Newport. In addition to this, the Continuous Training scheme awarded grants to six UK-based training courses, including Inside Pictures 2012, Marketing Movies Online Labs and Independent Cinema Office’s Developing Your Film Festival. MEDIA also provides financial support to activities that promote audiovisual projects’ and professionals’ access to industry markets. In 2011 it continued its support for Film London’s Production Finance Market, Sheffield Doc/Fest’s MeetMarket and Power to the Pixel’s Pixel Market. Leeds International Film Festival also maintained its MEDIA funding in 2011.

MEDIA Desk UK was delighted to see that Bristol Encounters International Film Festival and the BRITDOC Foundation’s Good Pitch Europe won MEDIA support for the first time, and the UK’s membership of European cinemas network Europa Cinemas increased from 45 to 50.

MEDIA in the UK 2011 can be downloaded from MEDIA Desk UK’s website.

For more information about the MEDIA Programme and its work in the UK, please visit MEDIA Desk UK’s website or send MEDIA Desk UK an email. MEDIA Desk UK is hosted by the BFI, and is based at the BFI office in Stephen Street, London.

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