“The age of national literature has passed, and the age of world literature is at hand.” Mike Downey quotes Goethe to define the idea of Europe and above all the notion of European culture which has been put in harm’s way by the U.K.’s decision to leave the E.U. “From the overall U.K. industry perspective, this move is a disastrous one and the repercussions will resonate far and wide,” says Downey, an English producer and Deputy Chairman of the European Film Academy.
Among the most serious threats which Brexit — and especially the so called Hard Brexit — poses to British cinema is the withdrawal from Creative Europe, born precisely to foster production and circulation of European artistic products throughout the countries of the Union. Between 2007-2013, Downey explains, the U.K. has benefitted from €100 million in funding from Creative Europe. Furthermore, “During 2014-2015, Creative Europe has supported 230 U.K. cultural and creative organizations and audiovisual companies as well as the cinema distribution of 84 U.K. films in other European countries with grants totaling €40 million.”
The likely withdrawal from Creative Europe is a threat also singled out by Rebecca O’Brien, head of Sixteen Films, a production company which has relied on the help offered by this program more than once: “We have had slate funding, for instance, on three occasions, which has been very valuable.” Leaving the “club,” she says, would mean that “we don’t get the development money, so we need to think about how else we can develop (a film project).”