The government has confirmed its UK Global Screen Fund, administered by the BFI, will be extended for three years with additional funding of £21 million, which will support the industry to continue growing the economy and providing high wage, high skilled jobs for people in the UK. This follows a successful £7 million pilot year, which made more than 65 awards to support independent companies and productions.

Films including Living, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande and Enys Men (which will soon premiere at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival) have benefited from distribution support from the fund, alongside co-production support offered to productions such as The Miracle Club and business development support offered to companies such as SFB Games (narrative games), Northern Irish company Dog Ears (animation) and Scottish company Synchronicity Films (film and TV).

The funding will be used to increase exports of UK film, TV and video games to new territories. It will fund the distribution and marketing of content abroad, help productions promote their work at events such as film festivals, and support companies to hire and work with new staff with specialist skills to increase global audiences. It will also help UK producers collaborate on content with international partners, promoting export growth and boosting job creation for a new generation of exciting and diverse screen talent.

There is huge global demand for the UK’s world-class screen content and this new funding will help even more films, TV programmes and video games achieve international success. By supporting producers to export their fantastic content we will create jobs and revenue at home and help project the UK’s culture, values and creativity abroad.Julia Lopez, creative industries minister
In its pilot year the UK Global Screen Fund has already made over 65 awards to support UK companies to build international partnerships and generate new export opportunities. As international collaboration is fundamental to making new films and dramas that audiences around the world want to see, the continued support of the government in backing our creativity will help to boost our participation and success in a growing competitive industry. We are proud of the incredible craft and talent within our screen industries, and look forward to how we can help grow opportunities for the UK globally over the next three years of this essential fund.Ben Roberts, BFI CEO
Independent film and television is essential to the vitality of our wonderful industry. It allows endless creativity, bold storytelling and the chance to take risks in producing truly original content for which the UK is renowned. It is wonderful to see this further support for independent producers providing opportunities to help our films and TV shows achieve international success so that audiences around the world can enjoy the extraordinary talent and unique tales we have to share.Edgar Wright, director and producer of independent films including Last Night in Soho, Shaun of the Dead and Baby Driver
I joined The Settlers as a minority co-producer alongside an extensive range of international partners and an amazing line-up of funding awards from each of the countries involved. I truly feel that it would have been impossible to raise enough finance out of the UK to take part in the project without the support of the UK Global Screen Fund.Emily Morgan, producer at Quiddity Films
The UK Global Screen Fund has helped us to increase our visibility and reputation in Canada, and internationally more generally. The support on offer encouraged us to formalise our co-production with Canada and helped us meet associated costs. The fund also enabled us to improve the film and finalise post to a high standard. We really have seen the benefits of entering into co-productions with other territories over the last few years. Feature documentary productions are very much enhanced creatively and economically when the producers collaborate with equivalent producers all over the world.Jez Lewis and Rachel Wexler at Bungalow Town

The UK Global Screen Fund, which will run until 2024/25, is split into three strands:

  • International distribution: Support for the sale and distribution of UK feature films around the world. Funding helps UK businesses carry out promotional activity in target countries and at key film markets. In the pilot year, this strand supported films including Living, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande and Enys Men.
  • International business development: Support for film, TV and video games companies to develop business strategies that will drive their international growth. In the pilot year, grants enabled recipients to expand their creative and export capabilities, build new and enhance existing international partnerships and expand their audience reach internationally. In the pilot year, business development support was offered to companies such as SFB Games, Dog Ears and Synchronicity Films. 
  • International co-production: Support for UK producers to become partners in international co-productions. This helps the teams get new skills and experience as well as share IP and revenue on film and TV projects with international appeal. Grants will go towards supporting UK producers to collaborate with their counterparts around the world. In the pilot year, The Miracle Club and My Happy Ending were supported by this strand.

 The international co-production strand will reopen to applications on 17 May, followed by the international distribution and international business development strands, which will relaunch in the coming months.

Last year government support helped generate a record £5.6 billion spend in the UK’s film and high-end TV industries, with British productions including No Time To Die and The Father becoming international hits. 

Successful government programmes, such as the Film & TV Production Restart Scheme and specialist tax relief for the screen sectors, made sure the UK’s screen sectors have continued to thrive through the pandemic. 

Originally published: 16 May 2022