By Ben Roberts | Tue, 17th March 2015 - 13:50
The UK film industry is riding high. Actors Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch are household names worldwide, Star Wars being made here and now London is the second home to the George Lucas visual effects powerhouse, Industrial Light and Magic, and a bear called Paddington has just made his big screen debut in China.
The UK film business is breaking records. In January, the BFI's Research and Statistics Unit showed 2014 to be the most successful year on record for British film, with almost £1.5 billion spent on production in the UK during the year - smashing all previous records - and audiences voting through their wallets for UK independent films which accounted for a 16% share of the total box office (also the highest recorded).
This success sits in the context of a thriving sector backed up by government support. Last month an independent report produced by analysts Olsberg•SPI and Nordicity and commissioned by the BFI, Pinewood Group plc, the British Film Commission, UK Interactive Entertainment (Ukie) and Pact, showed that government support for the UK’s screen industries in the form of the creative sector tax reliefs is playing a major part in stimulating business growth - and a return of more than £6 billion a year for the UK economy. Those screen industries are powered by film and also include rapid growth across high end television, animation and video games.