UK Cinema Association Chief Executive Phil Clapp joined counterparts from film distribution and production this week in making the case to MPs for greater support for British Film.
Appearing in front of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee as part of the first hearing supporting its inquiry into British Film and High End Television, he made the point that – for all of the other challenges the UK cinema industry face – its recovery was being held back in part by the lack of a reliable slate of engaging and well-marketed British films.
Contrasting with the situation in other key European territories, Phil Clapp also noted the significant ‘gap’ in box office and admissions, something he said was in large part down to the absence of such content, particularly at a time when the impacts of strike action in the US last are still being felt in terms of a reduced slate of films from the major studios.
During a lengthy session with the Select Committee – chaired by Dame Caroline Dinenage MP – the Association also voiced its support for proposals from the other organisations for movement on tax relief to incentivise greater investment. At the same time Phil Clapp reiterated a plea for consideration be given to a short-term reduction in VAT on cinemas tickets to help the sector overcome short-term pressures, not only around the slate but also related to the cost of living crisis.
The terms of reference of the inquiry, launched in July last year, can be found here.
A full recording of the session can be found here, starting at around 11.10 and preceded by a discussion with Director Gurinder Chadha.