Written by Shona Smith on Oct 16, 2020. Posted in General Interest

UK GBP500 Million Film and TV Production Restart Scheme launches with EU approval

The scheme is expected to support over 40,000 jobs across the creative sector by allowing planned productions to shoot during the pandemic. The Government-backed GBP500 million scheme formally launches after receiving state aid approval from the EU. 

The compensation covers future Coronavirus related losses including filming delays from illness amongst the cast and crew. Eligible productions will be onboarded within days, and claims can be backdated to 28 July. The deadline for registration and start of production is now extended to February 28, 2021.

There will be a total cap on claims per production of GBP5 million. The funding is available to all productions made by companies where at least half the production budget is spent in the UK.

The film and television production industry supports over 180,000 jobs and contributes more than GBP12 billon to the economy annually but production has had to pause due to the unavailability of coronavirus-related insurance. Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan, co-Chairmen at Working Title note that “The government rightly identified that an entire industry was fully financed and ready to move back into employment and production, all it needed was this assurance for those struggling with Covid cover, which thanks to this it now has. It’s a brilliant initiative that will have a meaningful and immediate impact on the UK film and TV industries and we can’t thank DCMS and the Treasury enough for making it happen”.

The scheme was first announced in July. To expedite the process of onboarding and to help productions familiarise themselves with the details, the scheme has been allowing early registration.

My Son from director Christian Carion, set in the Scottish Highlands and starring James McAvoy and Claire Foy is one such production. Producer Rebecca O’Brien from Sixteen Films says “this scheme makes an enormous difference to British film makers in terms of their feeling confident to be able to shoot during these challenging times. It’s difficult enough getting an independent film off the ground but with Covid-19 around the uncertainties make it all the more problematic. We’re hoping to start production of our British/French/German co-production My Son in the next couple of weeks and having the scheme in place makes it possible”.

Independent production Mothering Sunday starring Josh O’Conner, Odessa Young , Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù, Olivia Colman and Colin Firth and filming is another production going ahead thanks to the scheme. Producer Elizabeth Karlsen at Number 9 Films said “Without this backing from the Government‘s scheme our industry, which is held in such high regard throughout the world, would have been under serious threat. We have started our own project Mothering Sunday working with the best of UK talent now secure in their jobs. It is an enormous relief to us and to many people who have been working tirelessly to keep projects alive over the past few months. We would like to thank those who have their given support and to those who have played a hand in reaching this vital and welcome decision.”

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