Org to award $110,000 to film market activity

The British Film Institute has pledged to back the promotion and export of U.K. pics abroad in a move welcomed by local bizzers.

Thursday’s announcement comes after the BFI, which took over many of the duties of the defunct U.K. Film Council this year, initially failed to list film export as a priority for funding.

But the org has said it is “ensuring funds are immediately available to promote British film and talent” at fests including Sundance in January, Berlin in February and Cannes in May.

BFI is awarding £70,000 ($110,000) from its transition funds to film sales org Film Export U.K. “to ensure strong British presence at Filmart Hong Kong and Berlin’s European Film Market,” with more coin to come as the BFI fine tunes its funding.

“Ahead of us we have major international markets and the awards seasons, and it is crucially important that the BFI supports the industry now in this transitional period,” said BFI CEO Amanda Nevill.

“It’s fantastic that the BFI recognizes that export is a success story for British film, and that timely and targeted help in partnership with our members at key events can make all the difference to the international success of British films and British sales companies,” said Stephen Kelliher, chair of Film Export U.K.

UKFC injected about $784,000 per year to support film exports at markets and $561,700 per year to promote Brit pics internationally.The decision comes as the film industry awaits the government’s Film Policy Review, which will take a fresh look at public backing for the biz.

Chris Smith, who is chairing the independent review of film policy, added, “Enhancing the promotion of British films and talent around the world, especially in new emerging markets like India and China, is imperative if we are to build on the current success of our film industry.”

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