U.K. Film Policy Review Group Unlikely To Publish Findings Before 2012

9:59 AM PST 12/09/2011 by Stuart Kemp
Splash News
Kristen Stewart's upcoming "Snow White and the Huntsman" benefited from U.K. tax breaks.

Industry kept on tenterhooks over U.K. government attitudes towards film and tax incentives.

LONDON – Movie industry players, funders, distributors and government ministers will likely be kept in the dark until early 2012 about any findings or changes coming as a result of the long-anticipated Film Policy Review Group report.

The report, widely expected to come down the pipe before this year’s holiday season gets underway, is now unlikely to emerge before the new year, according to insiders.

It was widely tipped to emerge blinking into the light Thursday December 15.

The delay in making the report’s findings public is a blow to the British industry who were hoping to have a clear steer from the government on the direction it would be taking in terms of public funding, recommendations to government on which areas require more support and where the future of the industry is deemed to lie.

Most water cooler speculation puts digital front and center of any policy changes and support the report is likely to recommend.

The U.K. Film Policy Review group -- chaired by former culture secretary Chris Smith with names including producer Iain Smith and Sony’s Michael Lynton on it -- has taken exhaustive submissions from all sectors of the industry.

It’s four objectives, set by U.K. culture secretary Ed Vaizey, is to identify market failures preventing a more successful and integrated British film industry, to set Policy directions for Lottery funding, to identify ways to develop and retain UK talent, and to work out how best to increase audience demand for film.

Having shuttered the U.K. Film Council and turned over much of its duties to the British Film Institute and Film London, the government is looking to steer future policy into calmer waters.

The U.K. government’s decision to renew the country's commitment to its film tax credit system to the end of 2015 went a long way to assuring heavyweight players here that movie-making remains an important industry to encourage.

The tax system paves the way to continue to attract studio backed projects such as Skyfall, the latest James Bond adventure being directed by Sam Mendes and Universal Pictures’ Snow White and The Huntsman, starring Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron, to shoot here.

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