Co-production treaties with 5 new countries
by Annika Pham
The UK Cultural Secretary Tessa Jowellhas just announced that new bilateral co-production agreements are being negotiated between the UK and five new countries: South Africa, China, India, Jamaica and Morocco.
Although it will take another 18 months before the final structure of those treaties is ready, Tessa Jowell decided to make the announcement with her South African counterpart Pallo Jordan during her visit in Cape Town where both Ministers signed a statement of intent to get the negotiations underway.
"Movie making has always been a global business", said the UK Cultural Secretary. "This is true now more than ever. Pooling talent and expertise is increasingly important to enable all those involved in the film industry to compete in a world stage". More than 27 million South Africans went to the cinema in 2003. In 2001 India made more than 1,000 films-making it the world’s largest feature film producer. And with a population of over a billion in China it makes sense to tap into this market", she stressed.
Steve Norris, Head of the UK Film Council’s International Department also commented: "This is a major step forward for the UK’s strategy for building partnerships within the international film community. With these treaties in place, the British public will have the chance to see more British films with real international flavour and the industry will reap the cultural and economic benefits of producing a whole new set of films with new partners".
The new bilateral Agreements will give film producers involved in a co-production with one of those five new territories the opportunity to apply for a British film certificate and for the UK tax relief on 100% of the certified spend on the film.
In 2004, the UK co-produced 83 feature films worth £142m as part of the bi-lateral agreements already in place with seven countries (Australia, Canada France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand and Norway) or under the European Convention on co-production.
Addressing current agreements with European partners, the official statement by the Cultural Ministry also stated: "The UK government proposes that we should continue to co-produce films with Germany and Italy using the European Convention rather than individual bi-lateral agreements. We are proposing to Norway that our bi-lateral agreement ends at the next renewal date".
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