×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Brexit Won’t Have ‘Significant Effect’ on British Film Biz, U.K. Official Says (EXCLUSIVE)

Britain’s minister for the digital and creative industries said Friday that Brexit would not have a significant impact on the local film industry and that the U.K. would remain a desirable destination for filmmakers.

“I don’t want to be complacent, but I don’t think Brexit will have a significant effect on the film industry,” government minister Margot James told Variety. “It won’t affect the studio space; it won’t affect the tax reliefs.”

In Cannes to promote Britain at the film festival, James said the U.K.’s appeal would remain in spite of its planned withdrawal from the European Union next year. “We are the destination for filmmakers from around the world because we’ve got key attributes: fantastic production facilities [with] the best studios in the world, we have the skilled people, and we also have a very good and attractive tax framework. No other country has all three.”

But she acknowledged concerns over the movement of non-British cast, crew and technicians into the country post-Brexit.

“In some parts [of the industry] we do need a lot of people from abroad,” James said. “When you are talking about visual effects and the very high-tech end of the sector, I accept that we do need to makes sure the Home Office has a positive immigration policy that enables us to continue to recruit the people from Europe that we need. … There is no doubt we want the advantages of Brexit, but that we still have access to the talent we need.”

James said that the importance of the film business to the U.K. has become more apparent since she took up her new government post earlier this year. Film is “important economically, as well as to the general sense of well-being and confidence we have as a country that we are a creative force globally,” she said.

As the film and TV industry adjusts to the impact of U.S. streamers, James said the newcomers are welcome additions on Britain’s entertainment landscape. “Netflix is contributing to huge market growth, so we welcome that,” she said. “We are hopeful we will get an ever closer relationship with Netflix. We don’t see that as being destructive to the rest of the industry. We see it as growing the whole sector.

“Undoubtedly it is always uncomfortable when a big new competitor arrives in a marketplace. Undeniably there will be change, but I still see a great future for independent broadcasting and independent filmmaking.”

More Film

  • Woolsey Fire Malibu

    Many Malibu Areas Still Off-Limits for Filming After Fire

    The California Film Commission has maintained its ban on filming in several Malibu areas hit by the massive Woolsey fire in Southern California last month. The commission announced Tuesday that due to continued clean-up and repair work along Pacific Coast Highway, permits for filming on the highway are not being issued at this time. PCH [...]

  • Against the Clock

    Film News Roundup: Andy Garcia's Spy Thriller 'Against the Clock' Bought by Gravitas

    In today’s film news roundup, Andy Garcia’s spy thriller is sold, “Battlestar Galactica” gets a screenwriter, and Brooklyn Decker gets an award. ACQUISITION Gravitas Ventures has acquired North American rights to spy thriller “Against the Clock,” starring Andy Garcia, Dianna Agron (“Glee”), and Justin Bartha, Variety has learned exclusively. The film, formerly titled “Headlock,” is [...]

  • 'Pacific Rim Uprising' film premiere

    John Boyega in Talks to Star in Legal Drama 'A Naked Singularity'

    “Star Wars” actor John Boyega is in talks to star in the legal drama “A Naked Singularity” with Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions on board to produce. The movie is based on Sergio De La Pava’s debut novel, which centers on a successful New York public defender whose life begins to unravel after he loses [...]

  • Aquaman 2018

    'Aquaman' Outpacing 'Wonder Woman' in Fandango Pre-Sales

    Pre-sales of “Aquaman,” which opens on Thursday night, are outpacing “Wonder Woman” at the same point in the advance ticket sales cycle on online ticketer Fandango. “Wonder Woman” opened with $103 million domestically during the June 2 to June 4, 2017, weekend on its way to a $412 million North American total for Warner Bros. “Aquaman,” [...]

  • European Union Placeholder

    Europe, Hollywood Hail Landmark E.U. Territorial Licensing Agreement

    Industry organizations and major companies in Europe and Hollywood welcomed Tuesday a high-level European Union agreement that in large part preserves producers’ ability to sell movies and TV shows on an exclusive territory-by-territory basis. Territorial licensing is a financial backbone of the film and TV business in Europe. Recognition of such licensing came last Thursday in [...]

  • Box Office: 'Aquaman,' 'Mary Poppins Returns'

    Box Office: 'Aquaman' Battles 'Mary Poppins Returns' in Crowded Holiday Weekend

    It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and the most competitive time at the multiplexes. This weekend sees two very different heroes vying for the box office crown with “Aquaman” and “Mary Poppins Returns” both eyeing sizable debuts. “Mary Poppins Returns” is getting a head start by opening on Wednesday, though estimates show “Aquaman” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content