Avatar photo

Jane Ansell

Second Secretary (Economics)

Part of Partners in Prosperity

27th February 2014 Washington DC, USA

UK Rolls Out Red Carpet for Film And TV

British films up for Oscars this weekend showcase the UK as a GREAT home for creative industries!

One of the many benefits of being a Brit in Washington has to be the ability to watch the many big TV events – which America does so well – at a reasonable hour.

While staying up all night in the UK to watch US Presidential debates, the Super Bowl or the Oscars has its own appeal, it’s even better to be able to sit down on a Sunday evening to enjoy the show. Ideally with Americans on hand to explain the finer points of what’s going on (particularly important for sporting events I’ve found).

And I am especially looking forward to watching the Oscars this Sunday, where British creativity is up for a host of awards. In the Best Picture category, 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, Philomena and Captain Phillips all have a British connection. 12 Years a Slave was directed by Brit Steve McQueen with British actors in lead roles; Gravity was produced by a Brit, filmed there and the movie’s phenomenal special effects were created in London’s Soho; Philomena is a British production which features Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan (who also co-wrote and produced the film), as well as being shot on location in Northern Ireland, while parts of Captain Phillips were also filmed in the UK.

And the Oscars are recognising up and coming British talent too – The Voorman Problem, directed by two Manchester based film-makers, is up for Best Live Action Short Film, and the UK has two Best Documentary Short nominees as well as a nominee in the Best Animated Short category.

It is good to see such fantastic films with a connection to the UK. But it’s not just film crews shooting in Britain. Last year television dramas such as Game of Thrones shot in Northern Ireland,Outlander in Scotland and Da Vinci’s Demon’s in Wales. Episodes of Elementary and Veep have also filmed in the UK.

Of course it is great for the British economy to have these highly skilled, innovative and export-oriented industries thriving in the UK. But why are producers choosing to film on location, or create their effects, in Great Britain and Northern Ireland? Our skilled workforce, cutting-edge technology – not to mention our incredible scenery – help.

But the government is also working hard to ensure these dynamic industries thrive. Following the successful film production tax relief, the UK introduced tax relief for high-end TV programmes and animation, to help these creative industries grow. In its first nine months the new television tax relief helped deliver over £233 million for the UK economy. And investment in film production grew 14% to over £1 billion last year.

The momentum is set to continue in 2014 too, with major projects such as Marvel’s Avengers sequel, Disney’s Through the Looking Glass, 20th Century Fox TV’s 24: Live Another Day, and Lucasfilm’s Star Wars Episode 7 confirmed to take advantage of all the UK has to offer the creative industries.

But for now, you can watch GREAT British talent on display at the Oscars this Sunday.

1 comment on “UK Rolls Out Red Carpet for Film And TV

Comments are closed.

About Jane Ansell

Jane has been Second Secretary (Economics) at the British Embassy since October 2011. Before arriving in Washington, Jane worked for two years at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.…

Jane has been Second Secretary (Economics) at the British Embassy since October 2011. Before arriving in Washington, Jane worked for two years at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. She worked on climate change and energy market economics, and later on European economic issues. Jane received a Masters degree in economics from the London School of Economics in 2009.

Follow Jane