'Cultural Test' to certify U.K. tax status


LONDON -- As of April 1, it will be the U.K. Film Council's responsibility to certify movie productions as British for tax purposes.

The responsibility previously rested with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, but will now shift across town, Film Minister Shaun Woodward said Friday.

Every film that wants to participate in the new film tax credit system must be certified as British by passing the newly installed "Cultural Test."

The U.K. Film Council also will assess applications under the Council of Europe Convention on cinematic co-productions as well as the U.K.'s other co-productions agreements.

While the Film Council will now oversee the process determining whether or not a film is considered British, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport will still sign off on the decision as a final step.

Woodward described the move to push the certification process over to the Film Council as "the final piece in the jigsaw" for the new tax system, introduced here Jan. 1.

"I hope this will help the U.K.'s film industry to thrive in 2007 and beyond," Woodward said.