UK broadcasters urged to make larger investment in film industry

Editor ©RapidTVNews | 17-01-2012

A review by the UK Film Policy Review Panel is asking the TV industry to play a larger part in the screening, acquisition and production of independent British film.

Commissioned last year by UK Culture Minister Ed Vaizey, the A Future for British Film – it begins with the audience review was taken in the context of what the authors recognised as very challenging economic times. Report author Lord Smith says that he has placed cinema-goers, TV viewers or smartphone users at the heart of the review which seeks to use public policy to maximise audience access to films of every kind.
Moreover, Smith added that his series of recommendations in the review are intended to increase audience choice and grow the demand for British films in the UK and overseas. These recommendations complement policy measures to support the production of British films, helping ensure that those films reach appreciative audiences, stimulating cultural awareness and creativity.
Put in that context, the report suggest that there is an onus on major broadcasters to invest more in the screening, acquisition and production of independent British film given that the majority of people still watch most of the films they see on television. It adds that an increased commitment to screening British films would also have an important impact on the vitality of cultural life in the UK. Similarly, it proposes that broadcasters could be a powerful force for sharing information and knowledge about the breadth of film available, through increased programming about film, online content and mobile apps.
Yet leading broadcasters denied any suggestion that they had somehow short changed the film industry. Speaking to The Guardian, a spokesman for ITV said: "ITV invests almost £1 billion annually in programming on its channels, with the majority focussed on original UK-produced content from a broad range of suppliers. This significant investment in the British production sector helps support the UK's broader creative economy…ITV's channels also provide a valuable platform for a range of acquired film content from both UK and international producers."