Great Britain has produced some incredibly popular films and television programmes over the years. From the films of Alfred Hitchcock to the generation-defining Harry Potter franchise. As well as the iconic James Bond. On the TV side, there are cult classics like Doctor Who and the sensation that was Downtown Abbey. These and more have gone on to have huge success not only in Britain but internationally as well. Our perception of other countries is often coloured by its media.
The Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport recently conducted a study on how British Media is received and how it impacts the perception of Britain in other countries. The key findings of the report are interesting, and good news for British Film and TV.
One of the findings from the report is that around two-thirds of tourists to the UK are influenced by British media. With a little under 40 million people visiting the UK each year, that’s an impressive amount that come to visit places featured in films and TV. Places like Highclere Castle, the setting for Downtown Abbey and Alnwick Castle, featured in the first two Harry Potter films as part of Hogwarts grounds were popular heritage sites, but have seen increased visitors since their respective film appearances. Harry Potter especially has lots of iconic locations featured throughout the UK across the films. Not to mention the appeal of the studio tour.
According to the study, 70% of international audiences regard British film and TV as “high-quality”. While the definition of “quality television” is difficult to pin down, many British shows appear on IMDb’s list of the highest-rated TV shows of all time. The shows listed include dramas like Sherlock, It’s A Sin and Peaky Blinders, documentaries like Planet Earth and sitcoms like Only Fools and Horses and Fleabag. Likewise for films, including the likes of Trainspotting, Snatch 1917, as well as the Harry Potter and James Bond films. No Time To Die, the latest Bond film, became the fourth highest-grossing film of 2021, as well as being nominated for several Oscars.
Investing In Co-Productions
As a result of the findings, £1.32 Million from the UK Global Screen fund will be shared between nine co-productions, in an effort to help increase their range abroad. The nine productions benefitting from the UK Global Screen Fund awards include The Miracle Club, a UK/Ireland official co-production, The Tutor, a UK/Germany official co-production, and Ghastly Ghoul, a UK/Ireland TV animation. The Father a UK/French production was a contender at the 2021 Oscars, with six nominations in total. It won in two categories, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Actor for Anthony Hopkins.
Screen UK, a new brand to showcase and celebrate UK talent which will launch as a digital campaign, rolling out internationally over the coming months. Aiming to highlight high-quality UK film, television and video games under a single brand banner, it will help distinguish and promote British content to international audiences. As the campaign has not started yet, there is very little information on what it will entail.