There is a huge amount of work being done across the sector in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The Screen Sector Taskforce, coordinated by the BFI, is a group of the UK’s leading film, TV and moving image bodies and organisations working together to identify challenges and develop policy recommendations for Government in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Originally brought together in response to the Brexit referendum, the Taskforce membership has grown from 30 to more than 100 senior representatives from film, TV, animation, VFX and video games. It currently operates through five sub-groups focusing on different aspects of the screen sector value chain, which are chaired by leading bodies in this area – distribution and exhibition (chaired by UKCA and FDA) inward investment (British Film Commission), independent film production (BFI), TV production and broadcasting (Pact), and video games (Ukie). Each working group will develop policy interventions designed to get the sector back up and running as quickly as possible, with these presented to Government as a single package of measures designed to help right across the sector.
Quantifying the cost of re-opening cinemas in line with social distancing and the impact on consumer demand have been priority workstreams for the distribution and exhibition sub-group. This will inform asks to Government designed to mitigate this cost and keep the exhibition sector sustainable in the aftermath of lockdown. This work complements that by the UKCA to develop guidance and safety protocols for cinemas on how to reopen in line with social distancing, which is with UK and devolved governments for consideration.
Here is a list of those involved in the Distribution and Exhibition subgroup:
- Andy Leyshon – Film Distributors’ Association (co-chair)
- Phil Clapp – UK Cinema Association (co-chair)
- Hamish Moseley – Altitude Films
- Shaun Jones – Cineworld Cinemas
- Sambrooke Scott – Creative Scotland
- Justin Ribbons – Empire Cinemas
- Kezia Williams – EOne Entertainment
- Crispin Lilly – Everyman Cinemas
- Pauline Burt – Ffilm Cymru
- Catharine Des Forges – Independent Cinema Office
- Matt Smith – Lionsgate UK
- Kevin Markwick – The Picture House, Uckfield
- Joan Parsons – Queen’s Film Theatre, Belfast
- Ian George – Sony Pictures
- Rob Huber – Universal Pictures
- Craig Jones – Walt Disney
- Mark Cosgrove – Watershed, Bristol
- Ben Luxford – BFI
- Stuart Brown – BFI
- Julia Lamaison – BFI
- Tricia Tuttle/ Anu Giri – BFI
- Jennifer Kimber – BFI
- Jack Powell – BFI
- Elizabeth Mitchell – DCMS
- James Butler – DCMS
- Olivia Coxhead – DCMS
If you have a COVID-19 related enquiry, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org which acts as a centralised point for all COVID-19 enquiries, and from where BFI can also signpost you to the most relevant advice if necessary.