What is a British Film?
Qualifying as a British film & tax relief
One of the puzzling questions for A Level Students is what counts as a British film. It isn't very obvious as the murky world of film financing , tax dodges (sorry breaks) can make very unlikley films "British. Because of this there are several benchmarks that can be applied. Everything below the introduction is taken from the UK Film Council site. Clicking on the links will bring you to the current definitions.
For most normal people rather than international financiers, the so called "cultural test " is the one which we would apply. To pass the cultural test the proposed film must get 16 out of 31 marks. The full table of how to get this can be found by clicking on the appropriate link. This cultural test is largely in accord with the principles of "Cultural Citizenship" which seeks to ensure a diverse set of representations of people within a particular culture at a particular historical moment.
However for the purposes of the exam you will need to be aware of the differing benchmarks and definitions. It is worth pointing out again that the British film industry is much more than British Films. Many people are employed in software or technical positions which are largely dependent upon Hollywood. Thus the British film industry can be doing well when the range of British films produced can be very thin on the ground
Qualifying as a British Film
Qualifying as a British film provides a number of advantages; productions are eligible to apply for UK Film Council funding and for the benefits of the UK’s tax relief structures. Films can qualify as British in one of three ways. They must meet the requirements of one of the following:
- One of the UK’s official bilateral co-production treaties, or
- The European Convention on Cinematographic Co-production
- The Cultural Test (Schedule 1 to the Films Act 1985)
For information on qualifying as a British film via the UK’s official bilateral co-production treaties or the European Convention, click here.
For information on qualifying as a British Film using the Cultural Test, click here.
For information on the UK's system of Tax Relief for British Films, click here.
European Certificate of British Nationality
British qualifying films are eligible for an European Certificate of British Nationality. For information on qualifying for an European Certificate of British Nationality, click here.