Professionalising the British film industry: the UK Film Council and public support for film production

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Kelly, Lisa (2016)

This article examines the UK Film Council’s objective to reorganise and reallocate public funding for film from 2000 onwards. I argue that the model adopted by the UKFC was innovative on two levels. First, it separated public funds available for film production into three separate streams and then hired industry professionals to head each individual fund. I also examine how the funds developed over the lifetime of the organisation, with each appointed head shaping the principles of their respective funds in accordance with the wider objectives of the UKFC. Drawing on strategy documents, internal papers and interviews with key personnel, I argue that the UKFC worked to position itself as a ‘vanguard organisation’ seeking to shake up an independent sector seemingly reliant on state handouts and introduce a commercial perspective to the industry. This mission met an abrupt end, however, when the incoming Coalition government closed down the organisation in 2010.
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