APPENDIX 3: CALL FOR EVIDENCE|
HOUSE OF LORDS
SELECT COMMITTEE ON COMMUNICATIONS
CALL FOR EVIDENCE
The British film and television industries
The House of Lords Select Committee on Communications
is announcing today an inquiry into UK originated content in film
The inquiry will focus on how the film and broadcasting
industries are supporting the UK economy, including jobs, and
promoting UK culture and talent and whether there is scope for
them to make a greater contribution. It will examine trends in
UK film production and the commissioning of UK content by broadcasters.
It will assess how the current tax regime for films and, in the
case of broadcasting, regulatory intervention by the Office of
Communications (Ofcom), are supporting UK investment and jobs
in these industries. The inquiry will also examine how related
and growing parts of the creative industries sector, are contributing
to the economy, and the benefits they offer to, and derive from,
the film and television sectors.
In 2006, changes were made to the tax credit system
for the British film industry. The new tax credit is available
only for films which meet the qualifying conditions of "Britishness",
which relate to the location of production and filming, the nationality
of those involved and the cultural content of the film. The inquiry
will examine the effectiveness of this regime and the appropriateness
of the criteria used.
The inquiry will also consider the role of the Government's
strategic agency for film, the UK Film Council. It will examine
how the Film Council is meeting its objectives, particularly in
the areas of direct financial support for production, export and
distribution; encouraging investment in UK film and support for
international co-production; and support for UK film culture.
The vast majority of UK originated content on UK
television is produced or commissioned by the public service broadcasters
(BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Five). They are subject to requirements
to broadcast minimum levels of original content. The inquiry will
examine how well the regulatory framework is supporting UK originated
content and whether the current arrangements are adequate for
the digital age. It will also examine the implications for UK
originated content of the current financial pressures on public
service broadcasters, and the extent to which other broadcasters
can be expected or encouraged to deliver original UK content.
The Committee would, in particular, welcome evidence
on the following questions:
- 1. What do the UK film and television
industries currently contribute to the UK economy and British
culture? In what ways might this contribution be enhanced?
- 2. How do the current UK arrangements
for distribution and exhibition of films affect the commercial
success of the film industry? How might long run changes in international
film production and distribution affect the UK film industry and
its export potential over the next decade? To what extent is the
raising of finance an inhibiting factor in UK film projects?
- 3. Have the 2006 changes to the tax
credit system been of benefit to the UK film industry? Have they
had a perceptible effect on UK film production? Are the qualifying
conditions, including the "Britishness" test, for the
tax credit appropriate? Are any types of film or types of commercial
arrangement unreasonably excluded?
- 4. Is the UK Film Council meeting its
objectives of giving support to production and export of British
films? Could it do more to assist the UK film industry's contribution
to the UK economy?
- 5. Is the current business infrastructure
in the UK conducive to the acquisition of the managerial and technical
skills required by the film and television industries? Is the
business environment conducive to the emergence of entrepreneurial
talent, which can take advantage of opportunities in the creative
- 6. How successful has the regulatory
system been in supporting UK content in television? Are there
particular types of programming, such as drama, children's or
factual programming, for which more support is needed? Could more
be done through regulation or incentives, for example, to encourage
non-public service broadcasters to commission original UK content?
Might financial measures, such as industry levies, be feasible
- 7. How will the structural changes facing
the UK television industry, and particularly the public service
broadcasting component, affect UK originated television content?
To what extent are these effects irreversible? To what extent
are they being offset by changes elsewhere in the creative industries
sector? What are the implications for television content creation
of digital switchover and widespread broadband availability?
GUIDANCE FOR THOSE SUBMITTING WRITTEN EVIDENCE
Submissions should be sent to:
Select Committee on Communications
House of Lords
London SW1A 0PW
Tel 020 7219 8662
Fax 020 7219 4931
and preferably also as an email attachment to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The deadline for submitting written evidence was
23 March 2009. This has now been extended to 30 April 2009.
Please ensure that you include relevant contact details.
Evidence should be attributed and dated, with a note of your name
and position, and should state whether it is submitted on an individual
or corporate basis.
Short submissions of 6 pages or fewer are preferred;
longer submissions should include a summary. Evidence sent as
hard copy should be clearly printed or typed on single sides of
A4 paper, unstapled. Paragraphs should be numbered. If drawings
or charts are included, we ask that these are black-and-white
and of camera-ready quality.
Evidence becomes the property of the Committee, and
may be printed or circulated by the Committee. You may publish
your evidence yourself, but in doing so you should indicate that
it was prepared for the Committee. The Committee may invite some
of those who submit written evidence to give oral evidence, usually
in public at Westminster. Transcripts will be published.
You can follow the inquiry via the Committee web
pages, accessed from
This is a public call for evidence. Please bring
it to the attention of other groups and individuals who may not
have received a copy direct.