As ever in times of change it is invaluable to hold tight to whatever facts exist. For a calm and clear eyed view of what Brexit might mean for the British film industry Stephen Follows is, as ever, utterly essential. Sadly his conclusions are more of a Ken Loach sigh of despair than a Guy Ritchie whoop of delight.
Most especially, for those of us on the creative fringe of the industry, the uncomfortable prospect is the effect of general economic uncertainty. My brother and I made our first feature with private money, with the support of generous individuals who felt comfortable taking on a risky creative investment. The sad truth is that this sort of money feels like it will be harder to find in the years to come.
Does any of this really matter? What are we in danger of losing? On Tuesday I have the great joy of introducing Jane Gull’s new film “My Feral Heart” at the East End Film Festival. It is a spell binding film, humane, compelling and built around an astonishing central performance from newcomer Steven Brandon. You should all come and watch it. You should also all go and see Rachel Tunnard’s “Adult Life Skills” which is currently on general release and available online. I will also Charles Henri-Belleville’s new film “Jet Trash” which garnered glowing reviews after premiering at Edinburgh.
I don’t know the ins and outs of how these films were funded, but I do know that these are three fantastic examples of new voices in British cinema. They aren’t cookie-cutter hero’s journey narratives that just happen to have been shot here, these are all films that express something uniquely British, something of the landscape and the people that inhabit it. To lose a generation of artists of this quality will be a quiet tragedy, not least because it is through their future work that we will really start to understand who this divided nation actually is.