U.K. COVID Insurance Scheme Extended by 6 Months

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The U.K.’s Film and TV Production Restart Scheme, the groundbreaking emergency £500 million ($647 million) insurance fund launched by the U.K. government last summer to help get the country’s indie sector moving out of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been extended by six months.

The latest extension, which will see the program open for applications until 30 April 2022, will provide cover for claims up to 30 June 2022. This will support an additional six months of film and TV production in the UK, protecting what the U.K government estimate are around 34,500 jobs, 400 productions and £1.2 billion ($1.6 billion) of production spend.

“With the eyes of the world on the U.K. this week as we launch the BFI London Film Festival and celebrate the release of Bond, today’s announcement is more great news for our screen industries, delivering vital support for UK film & TV and helping independent production reach new heights globally,” said BFI chief executive Ben Roberts.

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According to figures released by the BFI in July, since the insurance fund opened in late July 2020, it helped backed some 640 film and TV projects that have gone into production in the U.K., with total budgets hitting £1.9 billion ($2.64 billion) and more than 55,000 screen sector jobs supported.

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Alongside the extension announcement, the U.K, government also revealed that the UK Global Screen Fund, a £7 million ($9.7 million) initiative launched in April 2021 to help boost the British independent film sector internationally, had supported 18 new film productions, to a total of almost £1 million.

Among those supported are A Banquet, Ballywater, Becoming Led Zeppelin, Benediction, Brian and Charles, Dalilland, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, Herat of Darkness, Kensuke’s Kingdom, Spiked!, The Almost and the Seahorse, The Gentle Sex, The Real Charlie Chaplin and Unwelcome. These join the previous announced Mothering Sunday and Ali and Ava, which bowed in Cannes this year.

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