One of the starkest changes of last year recorded in the UK Film Council Statistical Yearbook was the sharp fall in the number of UK co-productions, from 52 productions in 2006 to 29 in 2007.
As the Yearbook makes clear, co-pros were hit by a double whammy in 2006: a tightening up of co-production certification requirements and the new film production tax relief based on UK spend rather than the total production budget. Some producers were left reeling, as Mike Downey (of Film & Music Entertainment) told Cineuropa at the time:
‘What the UK government has done has been really damaging for European filmmaking and it shows again that the UK is totally Anglo-centric and provides no cultural support to European films…The new measures have also made me realise that I can no longer effectively co-produce with Europe as I do not have a workable tool to reciprocate European contributions to my films.’
I mention this because a report recently published by the European Audiovisual Observatory looks at the circulation of European co-productions in Europe and raises some interesting points about how they fare compared with 100% national productions.