By Shane Barnes
The ultimate effects of the Brexit will not be known for years to come, but already folks in the UK’s film industry are forecasting chaos. As broken down by The Guardian, important members of the British film industry were expressing concerns over the exit from the European Union from the start, and now that that exit is guaranteed, those forecasts are becoming more dire. (One such executive has said that the decision has “just blown up our foundation.”)
As pointed out here, the UK’s film industry — like many of the entertainment-based industries in all of Europe — benefitted from the way the EU allowed for swift cooperation among the included nations, including agreements that encouraged European films to be shown in UK theaters, and UK films to be shown throughout Europe. Through the EU’s media program, too, the British film industry received millions of dollars — close to $177 million between 2007 and 2015. And, aside from those hard numbers, the system of the EU also allowed for easier cooperation between filmmakers and financiers of different countries, so that it was easy for, say, an independent film in Britain to receive backing from someone in, say, France.
This might all seem a little pedantic, given the other, direr effects of the Brexit, but this is the sort of thing that matters on a micro level, because it’s an outcome that was given little consideration by the folks behind the push to leave the EU, and it’ll surely impact the daily quality of life for most of those living in Britain. It’ll affect the jobs, too, for all of the young people who voted to remain (something like 75%) and would have liked to work in the film industry. This isn’t a game-ending blow — though The Guardian piece also forecasts a possible recession in British filmmaking in general — but it’s a significant one that points to the way all facets of life in the UK will be impacted by the Brexit.