The BFI COVID-UK Sales Company Organisational Fund is open to applications for a four-week period from July 6. Up to £25,000 ($31,240) per company will be available for eligible U.K. sales outfits to support costs associated with new models of working that have emerged as a result of the pandemic. These are to cover costs that cannot be supported by existing funds available from the U.K. Government or other sources.
New models of business include a significant shift towards online, as seen in the recently concluded virtual Cannes Market, which requires access to new digital and IT processes that incur expenditure.
Ben Roberts, chief executive of the BFI, said: “As a vital part of the value chain, sales companies connect a film with a global audience, and deliver back to the rights holders the resulting international revenues. Enabling them to evolve their business model in this period of rapid change for the industry, so they can more effectively and efficiently market U.K. films in the competitive international marketplace, is paramount to their trading and our overall film landscape.”
Existing industry support measures, including the BFI’s Film Export Fund, are still open to applications to support U.K. titles selected to premiere at eligible festivals, including virtual editions. Meanwhile, the BFI’s International Fund supported the first virtual U.K. Film Centre at Cannes. As previously announced, there is a £4.6 million ($5.7 million) pot in place to help exhibitors, freelancers and producers.
A £1.57 billion ($1.9 billion) lifeline for the arts sector was announced by the U.K. government on Sunday, details on which are expected imminently.