The Cinema Exhibitors’ Association (CEA) – representing the interests of UK cinema operators – has offered a broad welcome to recommendations made in today’s report by the Government’s Film Policy Review Panel.

Chief Executive Phil Clapp said:

“On behalf of cinema operators across the country, the CEA welcomes the hard work and thought that has clearly gone into the Panel’s comprehensive report.

In particular we are pleased to see the Panel’s recognition of the economic, social and cultural importance of the UK cinema sector, and the crucial role that many cinemas – both multiplexes and smaller independent operators – play in their local community.

The report rightly concludes that the way forward in supporting British film is primarily through greater efforts to increase the supply of high quality homegrown productions making their way to the big screen.

As the report acknowledges, the success of The King’s Speech, The In-Betweeners Movie and the final Harry Potter film in 2011 clearly demonstrates that there is an audience for well-made and engaging British films. The challenge now is to stimulate and meet that demand.

The potential for greater flexibility of programming offered by the ongoing digitisation of UK cinemas should benefit audiences for all types of film, but we look forward to working with Government and the BFI to ensure appropriate support for the report’s recommendations around promoting and showcasing British films in particular as part of that transformation.

Finally, we are delighted to see the Panel confirming its support for proposals to make the recording of a film in a cinema theatre a specific criminal offence. Given the importance of cinemas as a source of stolen film content, this is something the industry has advocated for more than a decade, and which during that time has been a frequent call from both industry and Government working groups. It is very much hoped that Government will now action this as soon as possible.”

Download the report of the Government Film Policy Review Panel at the website.