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Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 4 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent steps his Department has taken to support independent film makers. (253801)

The UK Film Council, the Government's strategic agency for film, provides a range of support for independent filmmakers.

Their New Cinema Fund distributes £5 million lottery funding per year to support independent filmmakers and emerging talent. The Fund also supports several short film schemes to help new filmmakers develop their talent, enabling many new directors to make the transition from short films to full length features.

The Prints and Advertising Fund distributes £2 million lottery funding to UK distributors to enable wider distribution and publicity for films which might otherwise have only a limited distribution, helping independent filmmakers to reach a wider audience.

The Premiere Fund distributes £8 million lottery funding per year to support the production of independent and mainstream, commercially-driven feature films that can attract audiences around the world.

The Development Fund distributes £4 million lottery funding per year to broaden the quality, range and ambition of film projects and talent being developed in the UK. The fund helps filmmakers of all experience levels to develop their ideas and screenplays into viable feature films and delivers support for both first-time feature filmmakers and established filmmakers.

The UK Film Council also allocates £7.5 million per year to nine regional and three national screen agencies across the UK, supporting their efforts to build a clear film strategy and provide financial support for a wide range of film related activities. Screen West Midlands is the regional screen agency that covers the Coventry South constituency.

Independent filmmakers working in the UK also have the opportunity to access the film tax relief, which last year distributed £104 million in support of British Film.