LONDON — The U.K. government has refused to certify Nick Willing’s “River King” as an Anglo-Canadian co-production, plunging the pic’s financing into jeopardy.
If confirmed, the ruling means the $13 million movie, shooting in Nova Scotia and starring Ed Burns,, will not be able to access U.K. tax breaks or coin from Canadian public org Telefilm.
British tax fund Movision is continuing to cashflow the production, in the hope the U.K.’s Dept. of Culture, Media and Sport will eventually be persuaded to change its decision.
Movision topper Peter James said, “We are putting in our own personal money to keep it going, not our investors’ money.”
The DCMS originally objected to the level of fees charged by Movision and its British production partner Spice Factory, and to the fact that no shooting would take place in Britain. When these issues were addressed, it rejected the project anyway because Burns is American.
“We have fulfilled all the requirements for a co-production, but it’s a shifting ground,” said a source close to the production. “It’s like they are looking for an excuse not to approve it.”
Telefilm has protested to DCMS in the strongest terms, warning that the rejection of “River King” would cast a cloud over the entire co-production relationship between Britain and Canada.
Producer Marion Pilowsky of Myriad Pictures, which is co-financing the project and handling sales, said, “We will continue to make the film as a U.K.-Canadian co-production, and hope to get it back on track with the DCMS.”