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British Indie Film Is At Risk, Say Film4 And BBC Film

2 min read
Aftersun Film4 BBC Film

The directors of Film4 and BBC Film have been voicing their concerns to UK politicians this week, amid worries over the future of the British indie film sector.

The ongoing British Film & High-End TV Inquiry has heard from Film4 Director Ollie Madden and BBC Film Director Eva Yates, both of whom highlighted the issues facing big-screen British storytelling.

Although Deadline reports that Film4 and BBC Film’s respective budgets of £25 million and £11 million have remained consistent for almost a decade, the costs associated with film production have skyrocketed. Yates explained that a debut feature would cost around £1.5m to make three years ago, but now comes in at approximately double that figure.

“I hope we can get to a better place of resilience,” Yates told the inquiry. “We have an incredibly successful inward investment sector, which is vital and valuable. It’s generating a lot of content. At the other end of the industry, there isn’t a lot of funding, and a lot of very talented people are leaving the industry.”

Madden added that “the huge growth in inward investment, which has been great for the UK in many ways, has had some side effects. One of those is an increase in production costs and a difficulty in getting cinema screens for independent film. When independent films can be made, they can reach big global audiences, so we’re really focused on moving barriers to those films being made.”

The British Film & High-End TV Inquiry committee commented that these concerns have been voiced to them before, and they are now starting to gather a more comprehensive idea of the situation.

Recent BBC Film productions include Charlotte Wells’ BAFTA-winning debut feature Aftersun, starring Paul Mescal and Frankie Corio. Film4 co-productions include Poor Things, All of Us Strangers, and The Zone of Interest.