Page 194

BFI StatisticalYearBook_2014

18.1 Qualifying as an official British film To access UK film tax relief, a film must be certified as British. To qualify as British, a film must either pass the cultural test under Schedule 1 of the Films Act 1985 or be certified as an official co-production under one of the UK’s bilateral co-production agreements or the European Convention on Cinematographic Co-production. The cultural test has been in place since 2007, but is currently being revised to allow for content within the European Economic Area (EEA), additional points for work taking place in the UK and to bring it in line with the new reliefs outlined below. Before 2007, films which were not certified as co-productions had to pass a production costs test to be certified as British. The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport is responsible for approving the issuing of British Film Certificates on the basis of recommendations made by the BFI Certification Unit. An ‘interim approval’ may be granted before its completion, to a film which meets the certification criteria, and ‘final certification’ is awarded once the film has been completed and final documents submitted. To qualify as a British film under the current cultural test, films have to achieve a requisite number of points based on the British cultural elements for content, contribution, hubs and practitioners (see the links at the end of the chapter for details of the cultural test). A wide range of films qualified as British under the cultural test in 2013, including The Dark Knight Rises, Ginger and Rosa, Le Week-End and Les Misérables. To qualify as British under one of the UK’s official co-production agreements, films must be jointly certified by the competent authorities in each co-producing country. Each party co-producer is required to meet the certifying criteria of the specific co-production agreement, which include the creative, artistic, technical and financial input from each co-producer. Once certified, a film counts as a national film in each of the territories and may qualify for public support on the same basis as national films in that territory. British films certified as official co-productions are not required to pass the cultural test. Films which received final co-production certification in 2013 include Byzantium, I Give It a Year, The Railway Man and Pride. At the end of 2013, the UK had 10 active bilateral treaties in place, with Australia, Canada, France, India, Israel, Jamaica, Morocco, New Zealand, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and South Africa. In 2013 an agreement with Brazil was signed and in 2014 an agreement with China was signed, but both are subject to constitutional procedures and ratification before they can come into force. Official UK co-productions can also be certified under the European Convention on Cinematographic Co-production which allows for both bilateral and multilateral film co-productions. 18.2 Qualifying as an official British high-end television or animation programme In 2013, the UK government introduced tax reliefs for high-end television (HETV) and animation programmes with the aim of boosting production investment in the creative sector. As these reliefs first came into force on 1 April 2013, we are reporting statistics on their implementation for the financial year 2013/14. Similarly to qualification as a British film, HETV or animation projects must either pass a cultural test (under Schedule 16 of the Finance Act 2013) or be certified as an official co-production under one of the UK’s bilateral co-production agreements which allow television co-production. In 2013/14 these were with Australia, Canada, Israel, New Zealand and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. In 2013/14, HETV projects with final certification included The Tunnel and Call the Midwife; finally certified animation projects included The Clangers and Sarah and Duck. No HETV or animation co-productions received final certification in this period. 194 – BFI Statistical Yearbook 2014


BFI StatisticalYearBook_2014
To see the actual publication please follow the link above