Last year was a black year for British film, despite our ongoing contributions to global cinema and the veritable treasure trove of both acting and technical talent which hails from the British Isles, it was announced that the UK Film Council, one of the primary sources of funding for British-born projects, would be abolished.
However with every cloud, there is a silver lining, and in this case that lining comes in the guise of Pinewood Studios. Pinewood, Shepperton and Teddington studios make up the largest stage facility in Europe and have played home to some of Hollywood’s biggest productions in the past. And now Pinewood are pledging to invest space, expertise and more importantly, cash, into Britain’s blossoming film industry.
The official announcement came via press release from Pinewood, in it the Company promise to target films with production values upward of £2m and pledge to invest equity up to 20 per cent per film. For the full lowdown see the full press release below:
Pinewood to provide funding assistance and access to world class facilities for smaller British film productions.
Pinewood Shepperton plc (the “Company” or “Pinewood”), a leading provider of services to the global film and television industry, today announces that it will be providing facilities and co-investment to support smaller budget British films. The Company will target films with production budgets of circa £2m each and will invest equity up to 20 per cent per film. In addition to any expected return from this investment Pinewood will also benefit from these films using latent studio capacity at its sites and the expected take-up of ancillary services at the studios. This arrangement will also bring fiscal benefits to the Company in its role as a supporter of British film productions. It is anticipated that Pinewood will invest in four productions annually, which will be selected by industry partners on behalf of the Company.
This move by Pinewood is consistent with the Government’s stated aim to create a sustainable long term British film industry.
Commenting on this announcement, Ivan Dunleavy, Chief Executive said:
“British film has enjoyed extraordinary success recently, and in its seventy-fifth anniversary year, I am delighted that Pinewood is returning, on a small scale, to its heritage in British film production. Although our financial commitment to each film will be relatively small, we can, in addition, offer British films access to the world class facilities and production expertise at Pinewood and Shepperton Studios which would normally be beyond their budget.”
Rt. Hon. Jeremy Hunt, MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport added:
“We are delighted that Pinewood is showing its support for smaller British film productions. As the recent success of The King’s Speech demonstrates, smaller British films have the potential to become smash hits globally and any support that the industry can offer producers, we welcome. This new private sector investment is a sign of confidence in the Government’s film policy. Pinewood has a long heritage as a center for film making excellence and with this announcement, demonstrates that it continues to sit at the heart of the British film industry.”