Independent feature films have to battle hard for attention in the global entertainment landscape. UK and European policy makers have long accepted that there is a strong case for public support to help films to cross national borders and find new audiences. Support may be directed to the exporting company to permit it to attend an international event or to the promotion of a film that has been invited to a prestigious festival. It may be directed to the company releasing a film within a country or towards a wider intervention that develops audience tastes or helps the commercial landscape to evolve.


We are an accredited Trade Challenge Partner "TCP" for the  Department for International Trade's Tradeshow Access Programme "TAP". See full details of the scheme here.

Eligible companies can receive TAP grants to go towards their costs of exhibiting at certain identified events, usually Toronto International Film Festival, American Film Market,

European Film Market and

Filmart, where there are UK Film Centre umbrella stand presences. Allowable costs include, for example, exhibition space hire costs, and design, construction and stand dressing costs and exclude, for example, travel and accommodation costs.

TAP grants for TV markets may be available through another TCP, the producers' trade body Pact.

GREAT is the government’s single destination for information on UK trade, investment, tourism and education and provides guidance and tools to help exporters:














In March 2018 the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport published a Creative Industries: Sector Deal committing, among other initiatives,  to create an industry and government Trade and Investment Board targeting

a 50 per cent increase in creative

industries exports by 2023.









It follows extensive consultation with the government-convened forum the Creative Industries Council and with the Creative Industries Federation, an organisation representing entities from the UK’s creative industries, cultural education and arts communities.



The current BFI 5-year plan entitled BFI2022 includes this initiative on export and inward investment:

"Increase the International Fund to lead a refreshed and strengthened International Strategy in partnership with the British Film Commission and the Department for International Trade, informed by research and business intelligence, to navigate the challenges and seize the global opportunities for UK film post EU referendum."


Creative Europe is the EU programme to support the cultural, creative and audiovisual sectors from 2014-2020, including the MEDIA sub-programme, which invests in film, television, new media and games. Amongst the sub-programme schemes the Distribution: Sales Agents one provides sums for sales companies to reinvest in acquiring rights in and promoting non-national European films (meaning not from their own countries) based on past performance; Distribution: Automatic  helps distributors based on their performance with previous non-national films ;  Distribution: Selective Scheme helps distributors launch films with more challenging genres or subjects.

The MEDIA programme provides funding for European Film Promotion "EFP" . Its Film Sales Support ("FSS") which contributes towards additional promotional activities for European films, covering up to 50 percent of marketing costsat selected non-European film festivals and markets.



In addition to the support for umbrella stand presences  from the British Film Institute Lottery International Fund, there is support available from their Film Export Fund to help a film selected for a high-profile festival by contributing to associated publicity and marketing, as well as  technical and logistical costs.


Film Export UK has submitted to the European Commission consultation that included inter alia the next iteration of Creative Europe / MEDIA after the present scheme ends in 2020.









We have also consulted with our counterparts at Europa International

representing many European sales companies on the elements we would hope to see and expect the topic to be of much discussion at the forthcoming Cannes Film Festival. In common with most other representative bodies in the creative sector we have made representations to HM Government that we would wish the UK to remain a participant in the Creative Europe / MEDIA successor scheme post-Brexit.


The British Council Film Department has an important role maintaining an advanced tracking list of new and imminent UK feature films and staging screening sessi