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Filmmaker Ken Loach predicts Brexit will cause damage to the British film industry


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Ken Loach, British director of films such as I, Daniel Blake and Kids has given his views on what Brexit means for the UK film industry.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter Loach gives his two cents on what the UK’s decision to leave the EU means for the British film industry, notably the obstacles this will cause with the funding of co-productions.

The award-winning filmmaker discusses that in spite of the recent election and poor turnout for Theresa May, Brexit is still likely to happen.

“There will be some form of leaving the EU,” Loach said. “Our co-production deals depend on workers from other countries coming [to the U.K.] to work on our films. If it is made very bureaucratic and difficult, if we leave the EU, that will make it more difficult and there is a danger that could happen.”

Some of Loach’s own films including I, Daniel Blake along with many other British films are co-productions, with I, Daniel Blake receiving investment from France, Germany and Belgium.

Loach went on to speak about how ending the free movement of people would cause challenges for filmmakers and hinder co-productions.

“If free movement stops and it becomes a big bureaucratic process for people to work in Britain, then that is going to inhibit [co-productions] because it is cumbersome,” he said.

Loach predicts that “a lot of producers and distributors” would “just not bother” with making co-productions if that was to happen.

It is his belief that concessions to enable co-productions with EU countries will be necessary. Possibly in order to retain cultural diversity in British film.

Loach hopes that the European Film Academy, an independent body of film and industry professionals established 30 years ago that is not part of the EU, could help with “negotiating easy movement of people for film co-production.”

Loach was not alone in his concerns that Brexit will have for film, with others also warning of a negative impact. Eric Fellner the head of UK company Working Title has said Brexit is “going to cause real problems” for the British film industry.

Adrian Wootton, chief executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, has also spoken up. “Everyone’s concerned about freedom of movement and access to talent.

“Certainly there’s a group of significant filmmakers including Ken who have accessed talent and financing from across Europe and there is obviously a risk”. He went on to say, “Europe has a small but significant impact on a small but significant group of filmmakers.”

Currently, UK films are classified as European productions, making distribution in other European countries easier and allowing real British films such as Loach’s I, Daniel Blake to reach wider audiences.

However, with Brexit in full swing this is a benefit we could unfortunately soon be losing.

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