THE BLOG

What Does Brexit Mean To UK Filmmakers?

24/08/2017 12:33 BST | Updated 24/08/2017 12:33 BST

The recent elections, continuous terrorist threats and attacks, a disastrous fire and the big, overshadowing cloud called Brexit; London has been under a petri dish and continuous headlines for international media.

There seems to be no stop to all this political and economic turmoil, however, it is only the beginning. When the UK voted Leave in the British referendum last year, it not only caused an outrage but it started a domino effect that will cause endless changes to all industries in the UK. Yet, there is no going back and the creative industries have to face the facts and take action. And quickly, as currently 5.2% of UK economy is generated by the creative industries in the UK, according to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, which might be subject to change.

It is important to remember that Britain operates not as a tiny dot on the globe but is part of an international community of independent filmmakers, content providers, and creators. And here is where many issues and opportunities arise:

European funding and financial support

The lack of European funding is probably the most important change that will occur to UK's creative industries. European funding bodies such as Creative Europe/MEDIA have provided the UK film industry with over €100 million in the last seven years. Without this flow of cash available, UK filmmakers will have to look for financial support elsewhere.

Co-productions

Currently, the UK still holds a contract with the European Convention on Cinematographic Co-Production. However, this agreement was singed as a EU member, which means that the UK has to sign this treaty again before any co-productions can occur. What will be beneficial is that the Sterling is decreasing in value therefore the UK will become an economically attractive location for international production companies. And, the UK will now be able to sign free trade agreements (FTAs) and provide more beneficial tax reliefs.

Freedom of labour

By being part of the EU, UK's creative industry had to follow several regulations, legislations and policies. Many filmmakers drew comfort and inspiration from the common universality of creativity and the freedom culture that artists enjoy -- the things that Raindance has stood to defend for a quarter century. Now, the film industry has to start again and draw up new legislations and agreements. This can cause issues for filmmakers and talent that is travelling in and out of Europe. Also, this can be a long-term problem in regards to employment rights with EU citizens.

Freedom of content

As the European Single Digital Market train is steaming full speed ahead, the UK has managed to jump off at the right time. Many costs can be avoided in terms of data protection and cross-border copyright. Additionally, the UK will be able to export its content more competitively. However, the UK will also loose out of EU funding in terms of distribution. This means that UK content might struggle to be sold outside of Europe, as it will miss out on a seat at the big EU trading area.

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Every situation can be turned into something positive and that is what the British film industry has to do. Thankfully, technology and digital disrupters are changing the way audiences watch content and are breaking down the walls in terms of distribution. New legislations, agreements and tax relief programmes could attract new projects to the UK.

Even though, many changes will occur, the UK film industry will still cherish its diversity and hopefully continue to, as Raindance Film Festival does:

"Embrace difference and celebrate connectedness"