U.K. Movies Got More EU Funding Support in 2012

More than 100 British companies secured just over $11.8 million in funding in addition to distribution support for such releases as Dustin Hoffman's "Quartet" with Maggie Smith.

LONDON – More than 100 British companies secured slightly more than $11.8 million (€9 million) in funding from European Union cultural support program MEDIA in 2012, about $2 million (€1.6 million) more than in 2011.

A report from the European Union program Wednesday also shows that another $9.9 million (€7.6 million) was pumped into increasing the distribution of more than 50 British films in other European countries.

It also indicates that 33 British production banners shared $4.7 million (€3.6 million) of funding to develop and produce fiction, documentary, animation and interactive projects for the international market.

U.K. projects enjoying European funding help through the MEDIA development scheme that completed production in 2012 included Mike Newell’s Great Expectations, the Jeremy Thomas produced Kon-Tiki, which attracted a best foreign-language film Oscar nomination this year, and Neil Jordan’s Byzantium, starring Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton.

The MEDIA Program also supported theatrical rollouts of films considered British across the continent, with the largest single amount of just south of $1.3 million (€1 million) going to Quartet, directed by Dustin Hoffman with an ensemble cast that included Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey).

The MEDIA program also handed out more than $1 million (€800,000) to Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, while Working Title’s romantic comedy I Give it a Year took receipt of $786,000 (€600,000) for its continental rollout.

Meanwhile, in the U.K., distributors unspooled 20 European films in cinemas with MEDIA support, including Michael Haneke's award-winning Amour, A Royal Affair, The Hunt and Love Is All You Need.

Finola Dwyer, producer of An Education and Quartet, described the support from the MEDIA program as "vitally important to distributors in Europe and to the filmmakers."

Said Dwyer: "The support gives the distributor more heft to promote the films and enables the films to have a wider reach across Europe through a network of distributors, which ultimately gives increased exposure to British films and filmmakers.”

MEDIA Desk U.K. director Agnieszka Moody said: "In 2012, U.K. companies successfully accessed all of MEDIA’s 16 funding schemes. A wide array of businesses benefited from the support -- from producers through to distributors, exhibitors, festivals, sales agents and film schools."