Film Council fosters linkups

Brit producers join forces

British film producers are busy creating alliances with distributors and sales agents in order to bid for up to £500,000 ($880,000) a year in development coin from the U.K. Film Council.

In a shift of its development strategy, the Film Council is offering up to eight “slate investment packages,” each worth up to $2.4 million over three years.

The condition is that producers must bring matching finance, and be able to demonstrate long-term relationships with U.K. and international distributors.

Jenny Borgars, the Film Council’s head of development, commented, “It is essential that film companies work more closely together to guarantee the delivery of high-quality, market-oriented films able to stand up to the ever-increasing amount of tough competition British films face in the market.”

“To see relationships consolidate over the next three years will be proof of our belief that long-term support is the key to a stable and healthy industry.”

Previously the Film Council offered a larger number of smaller slate deals — typically worth $175,000 to $350,000 a year — without the same requirements for matching finance and distribution alliances. But these existing deals have been relatively unproductive, in terms of converting development projects into actual production.

The total amount allocated to all the “super-slate” deals is a maximum of $4.4 million a year. Separately, the Film Council will continue to invest up to $3.5 million a year in individual development projects.

Applications for super-slate deals are due by Sept. 10, with the winners to be notified by late December.

The winning companies will be required to spend at least 30% of their own coin developing projects from outside producers. The Film Council wants applicants to strike first-look pacts or similar umbrella deals with other filmmakers. It is also “actively encouraging” the slate partnerships to form relationships with European or other international companies.

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