The BFI is partnering with Screen Producers Australia (SPA) and SCREEN FOREVER to launch UK Connect, a co-production programme strand taking place from 3-5 May 2023 as part of the SPA Connect Market.
For the UK Connect programme, SPA and the BFI are inviting ten film and television producers from the UK and ten from Australia who seek global partners and financing for market ready projects in development that can be structured as UK-Australian co-productions. In addition, four UK sales companies will also be able to apply to attend to explore export opportunities. The call-out for UK applications opens today and closes on 13 February.
The UK’s participation in UK Connect, which also enables access to the SCREEN FOREVER conference and the SPA Connect Market, is being supported by the BFI through its International Fund using National Lottery funding. The SPA Connect Market gives Australian and international producers the opportunity to discuss creative projects, develop deals, and forge alliances across multiple different strands, on a global scale.
“We are delighted to be partnering with SPA and its Screen Forever event to deliver UK Connect, a unique programme designed to open up opportunities for both of our screen industries“ said Agnieszka Moody, BFI head of International & Industry Policy. “Australia is an important market for the UK and vice versa with our great cultural connections and a good track record in screen production collaboration. With a revised co-production treaty between our two countries about to come into force, we are looking to capitalise on those strengths and through UK Connect support the growth of international networks for our respective industries, forging new partnerships, and stimulating opportunities for co-production.”
“We’re thrilled to introduce UK Connect as a new offering to the SCREEN FOREVER 37 program. The initiative is the result of SPA understanding the need for new and unique opportunities for our members to tap into the Global markets. The SPA membership is home to a wealth of bold, courageous, and intuitive storytellers who champion Australian stories and showcase our culture globally, and our mission is to ensure these storytellers have every opportunity imaginable to succeed in doing so,” said SPA CEO Matthew Deaner.
UK Connect delegates will participate in events and sessions programmed as part of SCREEN FOREVER 37 and will be available for meetings during Ready Steady Pitch, Round Tables, a Co-Production Forum, and one-to-one pitching opportunities. Further networking events and curated meetings are planned for the projects selected during SCREEN FOREVER 37, giving UK and Australian producers the best possible chance to secure financing and suitable partners for their projects.
The selected UK and Australian delegates taking part in UK Connect will also be offered an additional programme day focused on doing business and unlocking funding for co-productions on the day before the official opening of SCREEN FOREVER 37. Curated one-to-one meetings will enable UK delegates to meet potential Australian partners during the conference and market.
UK applications for UK Connect closes 13 February 59pm GMT. Guidelines on how to apply are available via the BFI website (www.bfi.org.uk/international).