Jude Law and Gemma Arterton welcome £7m global film fund

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Jude Law and Gemma Arterton
Law and Arterton have appeared in both big studio releases and smaller independent features

Actors Jude Law and Gemma Arterton have welcomed a new £7m fund that will help UK films reach international audiences.

The UK Global Screen Fund has been developed by the DCMS in partnership with the British Film Institute (BFI).

The one-year pilot scheme will help the UK's independent screen sector export content to markets around the world.

Law said the funding would "assist in sparking partnerships", while Arterton said it would help the UK's "boundary-pushing" content to travel overseas.

"There is enormous recognition and respect worldwide for British film and television," said Law, star of such films as The Talented Mr Ripley and the Fantastic Beasts series. "It's a prominent breeding ground for great storytelling and creativity, pioneering opportunities internationally.

"This additional investment will assist in sparking new international partnerships for the UK industry, generating more jobs and taking our productions to new global audiences."

"Whether in front of the camera, or behind, the joy of film-making is in the sharing of stories that simply resonate with people," said Arterton, recently seen in the latest TV version of Black Narcissus and the video for Jessie Ware's single Remember Where You Are.

"This new fund will help more UK projects and more UK companies reach new international audiences and achieve success with the exciting, independent, boundary-pushing content that we are all so proud of."

The Rhythm Section director Reed Morano with Blake Lively, Jude Law and Barbara Broccoli
Law's films include 2020's The Rhythm Section, which Broccoli (far right) produced

Other supporters include Barbara Broccoli, co-producer of the long-running James Bond film series, who called independent film the "bedrock" of the country's creativity.

"This new fund will help support that creativity and allow audiences all over the world to enjoy it," said Broccoli, whose non-Bond productions include 2017's Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool.

'Vital boost'

According to the DCMS, the fund will support independent film and screen content from "every corner" of the UK.

Independent companies can apply for grants they can use to invest in business development, co-production and international distribution.

While the fund will focus on independent film, it will also support animation, documentaries, television and "interactive narrative games".

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden said the fund would help export the UK's "extraordinary talent and creativity... to audiences across the globe".

Minister for exports Graham Stuart MP said it would also "help to boost our economy and create jobs on both sides of the camera".

Ben Roberts
Ben Roberts became the BFI's chief executive in early 2020

BFI CEO Ben Roberts said the fund would "deliver a vital boost... by stimulating international partnerships and generating new export opportunities".

"It's vital we continue to build on the global impact of our diverse and brilliant independent screen content, enabling the creativity and success for which the UK is so renowned."

Attention will be given to nations and regions "less historically able to export content internationally... ensuring a UK-wide benefit and addressing geographic imbalance within the industry".

Where companies are based, where projects are made and how projects reflect the culture and talent of parts of the UK outside Greater London will be considered when grants are awarded.

The application process, to be administered by the BFI, opens on 28 April.

Last year the BFI released data that showed a large reduction in the amount of money spent on homegrown independent movies.

Mr Roberts said there were "major challenges" facing the sector, while producer Stewart Le Maréchal warned it was in "a spiral of decline".

The new fund follows last year's launch of a £500m DCMS scheme aimed at kick-starting UK film and TV production hit by the pandemic.

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