House of Lords Inquiry into the British Film and Television Industry

The GTC would like to provide evidence to the House of Lords Communications Committee on its members’ behalf. If you have any comments, please let Brian Rose know as soon as possible. Unfortunately, we have very little time to put anything together, so I need to hear from you by 20 March at the latest.

The House of Lords Communications Committee has announced an inquiry into UK originated content in film and television. The inquiry will examine the contribution of the UK film and television industries to the British economy and how this might be increased.  It will also examine the cultural contribution of the industry and how current arrangements support UK investment and jobs.

The Committee has issued a Call For Evidence. The following questions need answers that are backed up by solid fact:

(1)     What do the UK film and television industries currently contribute to the UK economy and British culture ad how might this be enhanced?

(2)     How do the current UK arrangements for raising finance and distributing/exhibiting films affect the commercial success of the UK film industry?  How might changes in international film production and distribution affect the UK film industry?

(3)     Have the 2006 changes to the tax credit system been of benefit to the UK film industry? What effect has it had?

(4)     Is the UK Film Council meeting its objectives of giving support to the production and export of British films and could it do more to assist the UK film industry’s contribution to the UK economy?

(5)     Is the current business environment in the UK offering the industries opportunities for the emergence of new talent or the acquisition of the managerial and technical skills required by the film and television industries?

(6)     How successful has the regulatory system been in supporting UK content in television?

(7)     What are the implications for television content creation of digital switchover and widespread broadband availability?

(8)     How will the structural changes facing the UK television industry, and particularly the public service broadcasting component, affect UK originated television content?

Lord Fowler, Chairman of the Committee, said:

“The film and television industries already make a very important contribution to the UK economy.  But companies are under financial pressure both because of structural changes in the industries and the effects of the recession.  We shall assess the prospects for film and television production in the UK and what might be done to improve them. 

We will look into the financing of the film industry, and in particular how the 2006 changes to the tax regime have affected it.  We shall also look at incentives for UK originated content on television.  The British television and film industries have already had very considerable success and employ a very substantial workforce.  We want to examine whether there are ways to encourage these industries further.”

 

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