Has the British Film bubble burst?

The film industry in England has never really been a certain thing.

The concept of what a British film is or was…is debatable.

Statements I can remember from A-Level Media Studies had many ideas on what it should and should not be…”A British film has all British actors”…Was James Bond a British Film?  Not exactly…”A British film needs to portray life in Britiain”…Can you think of 5 films that does this?  Does Bridget Jones count?  Or is that just the same portrayal for every lonely woman…(whoa let’s not get into this one)…  “A British film can only be truly British when all funds and producers are British…Hmm well I can’t comment on that too much…

Confusion set aside, the UK does hold many national organisations supporting and promoting this scene…

British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) , British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) , British Film Institute (BFI) , Film Agency For Wales , Northern Ireland Screen ….

There is more, of course, but this morning news broke about the abolishment of the UK Film Council.  Not a film maker myself, I asked first…what does this mean to British Film?

The UK Film council not only promotes British films and Britain as a film-making location to the rest of the world, but contributes to our economy.

Budding filmmakers, directors, writers and anyone else who yearns to work in this film industry can be trained and educated through funding from the UK Film Council.

Film festivals are also funded, marketing for British movies are supported, including regional film agencies, all by the UK Film Council.

The UK Film Council has been responsible and funded many celebrated British Films in their short life of just 10 years…these include The Constant Gardener , This Is England and Adulthood.

Flicking through news stories today there seems to be no logical, or in fact any reason at all for the removal of this council, accompanied by Jeremy Hunt’s airless comment; “The changes I have proposed today would help us deliver fantastic culture, media and sport, while ensuring value for money for the public and transparency about where taxpayers’ money is spent.”

What does that mean?!

Just a month or so ago, it was also announced the British Film Institute gracefully accepted a 45m cut of funding from the government, saying they had anticipated the loss.


Obviously, we are suffering for the recession and have been told continuously about tough times ahead.

But has the film industry taken an aimless punch by a hastily structured coalition government?

Especially after the UK Film Council has had its best year in its short run, with no lead of who or what may take over its work.

Excuse me for being dramatic but… is this the beginning of end for the British Film Industry?  With it’s foundations crumbling, will the lottery still pump life into this falling art?  Will England go back to its blandish personality, only being known for its apparent high brow accent and sipping tea?

Oh God let’s seriously hope not.


4 Comments on “Has the British Film bubble burst?”

  1. Patti Kuche says:

    Any bubble, by virtue of its very existence, will burst. And deservedly so. True art will always out itself regardless of nationality, funding councils etc etc. The hard graft of talent and purpose will always come shining through.
    Struggling to think of 5 films . . . as for Vera Drake telling Sid to be a luv and put the kettle on every five minutes. SCREAM.
    Good luck, keep at it.


    • errrdaniels says:

      Thanks for your interesting points, obviously it’s not just funding and councils, like the UK Film Council, that are taking a battering from the recession.
      I merely wanted to show that this Council had been responsible and nurtured some great talent that we may not have otherwise known about.. In an industry which has been flooded with American imports it was great to see some of our homegrown work getting recognition, not just from over the pond, but globally as well.


  2. momfog says:

    It’s kind of off topic but does it bother you when Americans are cast as Brits? It seemed silly to cast Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones. I’m assuming it’s a “star power” thing but I think it’s annoying.


    • errrdaniels says:

      I don’t think this is off-topic! I thank you for mentioning it..
      It can be really irritating when American’s are cast to play us Brits. I remember being greatly peed off with the fact Angelina Jolie was cast as Lara Croft for the Tomb Raider franchise.
      Perhaps it was because she butchered the “English” accent (and because I’m Team Aniston) – but Rhona Mitra really did deserve the role!
      But like you said, “Star power” really has a part to play… aggravatingly! >:-(


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