British Film Commission highlights UK’s draw at Cannes

The world’s film industry flocked to France last week for the 68th Cannes Film Festival, and, as a perennial favourite for international producers, it was only fitting that the UK was present. The BFC was, of course, in full attendance, hosting panels, receptions, and offering one to one meetings with filmmakers.

A perfect co-production partner

One factor making the UK such an attractive proposition is its compatability with other territories in terms of co-production, aided by its inclusive cultural test and minimum expenditure threshold of just 10%. Numerous productions have chosen to shoot internationally while also capitalising on the UK’s own stunning locations, its world-class studios, crews, visual effects and post, with recent examples including Avengers: Age of Ultron (Marvel) and the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Lucasfilm).

With this in mind, the BFC partnered with We Are UK Film to host the Perfect Match panel, which explored the benefits of co-producing with the UK. The panel was chaired by the BFC’s Senior Production Executive Samantha Perahia, and featured Shake and Bake’s Lauren Selig, Lobo Films’ Andrea Cornwell and Pioneer Pictures’ Ildiko Kemeny who, between them, have worked on co-productions between the UK and Italy, Nepal, Hungary, Jordan, China and Israel.

During the event, Kemeny spoke of her positive experiences when it came to combining Hungarian locations with the UK’s expert crews and cutting-edge studio facilities. Hungary and the UK have effectively co-produced together numerous times , with one recent example being Paramount’s hugely successful World War Z, which shot extensively in both Glasgow and Budapest.

All the right connections

With 36 international productions shooting in the UK last year, it was important for the BFC to be on-hand to hold one to one meetings with international filmmakers looking to explore the UK’s benefits. Based at the UK Film Centre, the BFC provided expert, tailored advice on a diverse array of subjects including incentives and tax reliefs, crew bases and the UK’s expansive alternative stage space.

Filmmakers also had the opportunity to network and meet representatives from the wider UK film industry at the UK Film Reception, which was co-hosted by the BFC, Film London, BBC Films and Screen International. Attended by a wide range of UK and international filmmakers, the event was a fitting celebration of UK production, which, with major upcoming productions including Star Wars: Rogue One (Lucasfilm) and Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Warner Bros.), looks set to thrive long after Cannes’ closing gala.