The business of film
The business of film

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The business of film

2.2 The benefits of inward investment

Ben Roberts talks about the benefits to the whole industry of inward investment.

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 I think there are lots of different ways of looking at the health of the industry. There is a lot of investment in film production in the UK, but a lot of it is coming from outside the UK, so as studios coming in making films like Star Wars or The Avengers here. There is a benefit, quite a significant benefit, of that activity to people who are working outside the studio system, because there's a knock-on effect for investment in skills and other training.
 All of the studios, and a lot of the visual effects companies who are basically being funded through their work with the studios, pass on quite a lot of those benefits to independent producers and lower budget film-making at a lower cost as well. But what we do have, which is very health and healthier than a lot of other countries, is we do have a very, very supportive funding system through the tax relief, through ourselves, and the money that gets put into film through lottery. And we have two broadcasters who invest heavily in film production as well. It means that our films tend to travel well.
 We train up film-makers, producers, on screen talent, cast, who move quite comfortably between independent and studio film-making, and also who move between UK film-making and international film-making. So if you look at what's being awarded Oscars, or BAFTAs in terms of film-makers, technicians who are working behind the screen, or actors, whether they're in American films, or British films, a lot of them are British. So we have a very healthy skills, and training system here in the UK.
End transcript: Video 3 Ben Roberts talks about inward investment
Video 3 Ben Roberts talks about inward investment
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In addition to the BFI Film Fund, which Ben runs, there are two other very important public service organisations that provide much of the support to British independent film-making. They are BBC Films [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] , the film arm of the BBC, and Film4, the film arm of Channel 4.

These organisations, like the BFI, have funding for development and production. You will be learning more about their activities later, but in the mean time you might want to take a look at their websites.


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