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.


The Department for International Trade has established a Tradeshow  Programme. See full details of the scheme here.

UK businesses that are currently exporting can apply for support to

exhibit at or attend approved overseas trade shows and conferences and

potentially receive grants to cover some costs.

Support to exhibit depends on eligibility criteria which include that the company must: be exhibiting for the first time or wishing to venture into new markets; be turning over annually between £250,000 to £5 million;

not having committed to attending the event before applying for support, being be actively investigating export opportunities for the business,

having not previously exported, or

having previously exported and wishing to grow exports in new markets.

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













The British Council Film Department has an important role maintaining an advanced tracking list of new and imminent UK feature films and staging screening sessions of that work for Festival Selectors from over a dozen major international festivals.




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."



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.


Financed by the UK government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and administered by the BFI, the new Global Screen Fund will focus on accelerating export growth, boosting revenues to independent UK screen companies and deepening international relationships. It will allocate funding to three open access strands:

  • International Distribution
  • Business Development
  • Co-production

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