UK encourages Canadian and US co-prods

A delegation of Canadian producers is currently in the UK exploring the possibilities for more international co-productions.

The capitals film commission Film London, with support of the Mayor of London, welcomed the producers this week in a bid to bring more international productions to London on the back of the tax reliefs for high-end television and animation announced in early 2013.The trip was organised in partnership with Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC).

At the same time, Pact, together with its Canadian counterpart Canadian Media Production Association-BC and the Canadian funding agency Creative BC, co-funded a three day forum for the animation producers.

John McVay, chief executive of Pact, said the British and Canadian companies will spend the three days meeting and exchanging ideas. Calling the new tax relief a "game-changer" for the UK animation industry, he said: "Even more international companies are reaching out to work with the notorious talent we have in the UK. We are delighted to welcome the Canadian delegation to Britain and hope to see some exciting new collaborations as a direct result of this business delegation."

Film London will also welcome six animation execs from the US next week. Building on their involvement in successful trips for US film industry executives in previous years, the commission devised a bespoke programme for the representatives visiting from leading Canadian production companies and those coming from the US's major animation companies, such as The Jim Henson Company and DreamWorks Animation.

The producers have a packed schedule ahead. The organisations are connecting them with British production companies who also want to develop co-productions, and will offer them sessions to outline how the high-end television and animation tax relief and co-production treaty works from a legal point of view.

In addition, Film London has set up presentations from the drama commissioning editors from the UK's major broadcasters such as ITV, Sky and Channel 4.

"Securing shows such as 24: Live Another Day and episodes of Elementary and Veep to London are fantastic success stories, but these trips are an effective way of broadening our reach and further promoting the city's assets internationally," Adrian Wootton, chief executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, said.

"They also deliver for our excellent domestic production companies, directly connecting them with international producing partners. With animation, the tax relief has already ensured we are retaining UK production, but this represents the first time the UK has undertaken a proactive mission to attract international investment. And in starting with the US's major animation companies, we are aiming high, but I know our London animators can more than deliver."

Karen Thorne-Stone, president and CEO of OMDC, said: "UK and Canadian producers alike are producing innovative, high-quality, compelling content that is in demand by audiences around the world. Canada and the UK have a long history of working together to create great film and television, and we believe that it's time to re-invest in that relationship."