ON THE BLOG: Notes on Brexit from Cannes

Creative Europe Desk UK's director Agnieszka Moody joined a panel to reflect on the future of the UK screen sector and the impact of the Creative Europe programme at the 'Beyond Brexit' session in Cannes on Sunday.

Taking place at the UK Film Centre - the industry's touchpoint and meeting place for advice and information on UK films and co-productions - other panellists included Harriet Finney, director of External Affairs at the BFI, Christine Eloy, general manager at Europa Distribution and Malte Grunert, a producer at Amusement Park in Germany.

Agnieszka confirmed that “there are many possible outcomes of the Brexit process, but if we leave with a deal the UK will continue in the programme until 2020." To stay up-to-date with all the latest developments in this process, please refer to our Brexit guidance. 

The value of the Creative Europe programme to the screen sector cannot be understated. Reiterating our recently published results report for 2018, Agnieszka told an audience of industry professionals that €12.2 million was invested into UK audiovisual companies and UK films through the MEDIA sub-programme. However in analysing the impact of the programme, it's clear that "the effect is much more structural in supporting networks and collaboration and its value can be expressed more than just in numbers. It is about the concepts and ideas that are important and relevant to the development of the sector". Agnieszka continued, "it's good for the whole of Europe that the UK is in the programme."

The panel also debated the future of distribution and how Brexit might affect the visibility of UK films in other territories. Agnieszka stated that "it will matter if the UK qualifies for MEDIA support", noting that the UK's eligibility is a serious consideration for sales agents and distributors when striking a deal. Further to the point, "distributors can use Creative Europe grants to put up 'minimum guarantees' for the films they acquire, which contributes to the financing of the film" and thus the impact of a no-deal Brexit would extend beyond distribution.

Harriet Finney was keen to stress that "Creative Europe is the priority for the sector" and "we [the BFI] are pressing for continued membership in the [Creative Europe] programme."

Christine Eloy spoke about the effect that Brexit might have had on relations between the UK and other member states, and maintained a positive attitude in citing that so far nothing had changed. She continued "The more countries [Europa Cinemas] represents, the better we can represent their realities and concerns."

Expanding on this question, Agnieszka noted that "experts from the UK are valued in their contributions to the international dialogue, as well as our innovative approach to exhibition for example...losing the UK would be quite a loss that would have rippled effects for the industry as a whole".


You can watch the panel event in full here

All of the discussions at the UK Film Centre in Cannes are available to watch here