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UK film industry continues to thrive as 58th BFI London Film Festival launches

08 October 2014

UK is third largest film market in the world, and its talent, locations, facilities and crew are more in demand than ever before

The UK is becoming increasingly attractive for filmmakers as figures show total UK spend for film so far this year is almost £750m, with £600m coming from inward investment – a strong start to the year and a significant increase on the same point in 2013.

Government initiatives such as tax relief and the removal of onerous planning red tape will ensure that this remains the case well into the future. The UK’s creative industries, and in particular film,  make a tremendous contribution to economic growth – for every £1 invested through the Film Tax Relief, £12 is generated for UK GDP.

The latest statistics from the BFI, the UK’s lead organisation for film, show:

UK film industry turnover is £7.3 billion with exports of £1.3 billion and a UK film trade surplus of £789 million; UK film box office revenues have exceeded £1 billion for three successive years;

UK films took $4.1 billion at the global box office in 2013, an 11% share of the world market; and UK film production spend in 2013 was £1.1 billion with £860 million from inward investment productions, up 28% on the previous year.

The film business is booming across the UK. Within this vibrant national picture, London has emerged as a global hub for film production and visual effects,  and is one of the world's busiest cities for filming, competing only with New York and LA.

The latest figures from  Film London, who play a pivotal role in attracting filming to the capital, reveal that:

The film industry supports almost 90,000 jobs in the capital, and directly generates approximately 33,000 full-time jobs in London.

London annually records around 18,000 filming days.

There is an average of 50 crews filming on the streets of London on any given day; and
There were more feature films shot in London in 2013 than ever before, and 2014 is shaping up to be another bumper year.

Films recently shot in the UK include The Imitation Game, Testament of Youth, Mr Turner, Man from U.N.C.L.E., Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, Frankenstein, Pan, Suffragette, Tarzan and Paddington, as well as the film-scale TV series 24: Live Another Day.

London alone is playing host to film crews working on Star Wars VII,  Criminal, Mission Impossible V, The London Haunting (aka The Enfield Haunting), Miss You Already, John Wells Untitled  and Through The Looking Glass (aka Alice in Wonderland 2).

But London is not only a great place to make film – it’s also a fantastic place to celebrate it. Now in its 58th year, the BFI London Film Festival (LFF) is one of the world’s leading film festivals driving economic value and profile to the UK film industry and to London.
The Festival is considered a prestigious showcase for Studio and independent films and provides an important platform for key titles hoping to compete in the international Awards season, which culminates with the Oscars® in February.

Over the last three years, the LFF has achieved substantial growth in attendances (11% since 2010) and box office (42% since 2010) – achieving audiences of 151,000 in 2013, rising from 149,000 in 2012 and 133,000 in 2011. Ticket sales to date for the festival’s 2014 edition indicate audience appetite is stronger than ever.

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said “The BFI London Film Festival provides the ideal platform to celebrate the UK film industry, which is one of our biggest success stories.

“Government has worked hard to create the right environment for the sector to flourish and it’s working – film makers around the world are flocking to the UK, and to London in particular. The message is clear, and it’s being heard. The UK is the best place to make film.”

CEO of the BFI, Amanda Nevill said “As the BFI London Film Festival gets underway, the picture for UK film is vibrant and buoyant.  The Government’s solid commitment to the screen industries combined with our fantastic talent, skills and infrastructure is keeping the UK at the top of its game, and making a vital and growing contribution to the economic health of the UK.”

There is now a strong correlation between prominent LFF premieres and Award season activity. In 2013, 19 films shown at LFF were subsequently featured in the BAFTA nominations including four out of five of the Best Film nominations (including the winner of Best Film), while 16 LFF titles were featured in Oscar nominations this year (including the winner of Best Film). In 2013, the Festival opened with the European Premiere of Captain Phillips and closed with the World Premiere of Saving Mr. Banks, presenting galas of Gravity, 12 Years a Slave, Philomena, Labor Day and Inside Llewyn Davis.