What Is A Co-Production?
Qualifying as a British film under one of the UK's official co-production treaties 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 system. Films made as official co-productions are not required to pass the Cultural Test for British film.
The Bilateral Treaties And The European Convention
The UK currently has seven bi-lateral co-production treaties: with Australia, Canada, France, India, Jamaica, New Zealand and South Africa.
The UK is also a signatory to the European Convention on Cinematographic Co-production, to which 42 countries are currently signatories. This agreement allows multi-lateral co-production between party co-producers and bi-lateral co-production where no bi-lateral treaty exists.
Films which are made under one of the bi-lateral co-production treaties or under the European Convention will qualify as a 'British Film' and will also qualify as a national film in the country of the other relevant co-producer(s).
Films qualifying under a treaty will therefore be eligible for the benefits of being a British film in the UK as well as for the benefits available in the co-producing partner countries.
Filmmaking And Financial Contribution
The treaties require that each co-producer bring a share of the technical, artistic, creative and financial contribution to the film. In a bi-lateral co-production, each co-producing partner country must bring a minimum of 20% filmmaking and financial contribution, (minimum 30% in the case of the UK-Australia treaty). In a multi-lateral co-production under the European Convention, the minimum participation is 10%.
The filmmaking contribution of each country should be in proportion to its financial contribution.
Terms Of The Treaties
Each treaty specifies the conditions for qualification. The treaty texts and accompanying guidelines can be found on the UK Film Council website.
Applying For Co-Production Status
Applications for co-production status should be made to the UK Film Council Certification Unit in the UK, as well as to the competent authorities in each of the co-producing partner countries. Producers should apply for provisional certification at least 4 weeks before the start of principal photography.
Further information and application forms are available at the UK Film Council website.
The Certification Unit
UK Film Council
10 Little Portland Street
Or you can ask for a form by telephone: +44 20 7861 7521 or by e-mail: email@example.com.
Many thanks to:
UK FILM COUNCIL
tel 020 7861 7861 fax 020 7861 7862
for their assistance in compiling this section