A new film fund launched in Kent

A new film fund launched in Kent
A pioneering new fund for film and TV production in Kent has been launched after Kent-made feature film ‘The Calling’, starring Brenda Blethyn, generated more than £500,000 for the county’s economy and received prestigious recognition at the Edinburgh International Film Festival
Kent County Council has become the first local authority to provide a fund specifically for film and TV production. The new Kent Development Fund will provide £200,000 a year to support production in a range of ways from funding script development to investing in both Kent-based and external production companies who want to come and film in the county.
It will be used to attract additional funding from Europe, regional development agencies and private investors, with the aim of increasing spend into the Kent economy and promoting the county as a prime location for film and TV projects.
The fund was created after a successful pilot project between production company Maeve(Medb) Films, based in Ramsgate, and Kent County Council’s Kent Film Office.
Kent County Council provided £75,000 of funding for The Calling and also worked to secure match funding. This initial investment attracted other investors to the project including Screen South, Courtyard Studios, Maidstone Studios and The Hop Farm, which resulted in more than £500,000 of spend into the Kent economy before ‘The Calling’ was even screened. The investment also secured jobs for eight trainees from Kent on the production.
It showed that directly supporting film production in the county could bring significant economic benefits including the creation of training and job opportunities in one of the few remaining growth industries in the UK.
Kent County Council is making financial support available for future projects because the south of England is one of just two areas in the UK that does not already have a film production fund. The support is needed to keep Kent competitive against other locations in the UK.
The announcement of the fund came at the Edinburgh International Film Festival where the star-studded film was nominated for the prestigious Michael Powell Award for the Best British New Feature.
The film’s high profile cast includes Ramsgate-born and BAFTA award-winning actress Brenda Blethyn OBE, Golden Globe winners Rita Tushingham and Amanda Donohoe and Academy Award nominated Susannah York.

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