Culture Secretary Sajid Javid (pictured) has announced the ratification of a landmark film co-production treaty between the UK and China at the GREAT Festival of Creativity.
The deal, which was negotiated for the UK by the British Film Institute (BFI) with support from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and UK Trade & Investment in Beijing, was co-signed by Miao Xiaotian, president of the China Film Co-production Corporation. It will allow qualifying co-productions to access national benefits including sources of finance and an easier distribution route to audiences.
In the UK this includes the Film Tax Relief and the BFI Film Fund, which is the UK’s largest public film fund.
In addition, eligible co-productions will not be subject to China’s quota on foreign films, which only permits a limited number of non-domestic titles to be shown in Chinese cinemas each year, meaning many more UK films will be shown to Chinese audiences than current restrictions allow.
Addressing more than 200 attendees at the launch event, Javid explained the benefits of the UK and China forging closer links in the creative industries: “The UK and China are home to two of the biggest and best film industries in the world. Together Britain’s creative industries are worth almost £80 billion to our economy, almost three-quarters of a trillion yuan, or about five per cent of the UK’s GDP. China has a similar success story to tell. After a period of unprecedented growth, the creative sector here now contributes 3.6 per cent of GDP. This treaty is a breakthrough for UK and Chinese production companies.
“It will pave the way for UK producers and their Chinese counterparts to share their creative expertise and make incredible films that will be enjoyed around the world.”
Xiaotian, added: “The signing of the Sino-UK Film Co-Production Treaty heralds the start of a new era in collaborative film production between the UK and China. I have reason to believe that it will open the way for broader cooperation between our respective film industries. We can look forward to a future of integrated development and win-win cooperation.”
This announcement, made on the second day of the GREAT Festival of Creativity, at the Long Museum, West Bund, Shanghai, China, coincides with the launch of the UK China Year of Cultural Exchange, which seeks to stimulate creative collaboration between the two countries.