The European Commission has given the green light to a new ‘Cultural Test’ for British films which will determine whether they qualify tax relief under rules announced in this year’s budget.
Film producers wishing to benefit to qualify for tax relief will have to prove their film complies with four criteria:
- Cultural Content – is the film set in the UK, does it have British characters, is it based on British subject matter or underlying material and is it filmed in English?
- Cultural Contribution – does the film contribute to the promotion, development or enhancement of British culture relating to cultural diversity, heritage and creativity?
- Cultural Hubs – is the film made in UK studios or on UK locations, does it use British visual or special effects or music recording facilities, does it use British post production houses?
- Cultural Practitioners – are the people who work on the film from the European Economic Area?
Film makers will be awarded points in each of the categories and must score a minimum of 16 points out of a possible 31 to pass the test.
Film Minister Shaun Woodward said the Commission’s approval was “good news for the UK film industry” adding that the tests would “ensure that every film qualifying for tax relief either reflects or contributes to furthering British culture.”
The news was also welcomed by Adrian Wootton, CEO of Film London, who said the new tax relief would “provide real confidence and stability to the industry going forward and provide a sound competitive basis to promote film production in London and the UK.”