Here’s how the Regional Screen Agencies could support British indie films at no cost!

Make a film on little or no money and you don’t qualify for a tax-break. Make it independently of the UKFC and you won’t get any awards either. But here’s a simple way in which around £3,000 could given to anyone producing a feature film, or a collection of shorts on DVD.  And it wouldn’t involve any form-filling at all.

All it requires is for the Video Recordings Act (1984) to be ammended so that it allows films to be released as ‘unrated-18’ – just like they can be in quite a few other countries besides the USA.  At a stroke independent filmmakers would no longer have to pay the BBFC to classify films for theatrical release. And then for a DVD certificate. And then to classify all the extras which, when it comes to audio commentaries, the BBFC claims that these represent different versions of the film and charge accordingly. The bill could come well end up coming to more than the film cost to make.

And then there are all the organisations that have been springing up in towns and cities across the country devoted to screenings short films in anywhere from upstairs rooms in pubs to arts centres. These could be bringing out their own compilations on DVD if it wasn’t for the costs of paying the BBFC.

So, if the RSA’s really want to support British independent filmmaking and new forms of exhibition as well, they should be pointing out to the government the significant and lasting benefits of such an ammendment.

There you are. It wouldn’t even cost a penny!

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