Monday 22 January 2018

Ken Loach: Brexit will hamper UK film industry

The director of I, Daniel Blake, a collaboration between British and European companies, said the end of freedom of movement will hamper co-productions.

Ken Loach said an end to freedom of movement could stall co-productions (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Ken Loach said an end to freedom of movement could stall co-productions (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

By Sam Blewett, Press Association Los Angeles Correspondent

Award-winning director Ken Loach has said that Brexit will “throw a spanner in the works” of the British film industry.

The I, Daniel Blake director said any bureaucracy created by the end of freedom of movement between the UK and the European Union will stall co-productions with EU nations.

Loach won his second Palme d’Or, Cannes’ highest prize, with I, Daniel Blake (Ian West/PA)

“If free movement stops and it becomes a big bureaucratic process for people to work in Britain, then that is going to inhibit (co-productions) because it is cumbersome,” he told the Hollywood Reporter.

“Free movement enables Belgians to come, so if free movement stops, that will throw a spanner in the works.”

The two-time winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes said the European Film Academy could play a role in negotiating film workers’ movement rights, according to the US magazine who spoke to him at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival in the Czech Republic.

I, Daniel Blake, which won him one of those awards, was a joint production between companies in the UK, France and Belgium.

The 81-year-old supporter of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has long used his films to fight for social causes.

His 1966 film about homelessness, Cathy Come Home, led to the creation of the Crisis charity.

Dave Johns played Daniel Blake, a man struggling in the benefits system (Ian West/PA)

A report commissioned by the British Film Institute (BFI) found that Brexit could boost film industry jobs in the UK or slash them, depending on the type of deal struck.

More than 14,000 jobs could be shed if no deal is negotiated, leaving Britain and the union operating under World Trade Organisation rules, the report said.

But if a Swiss-style arrangement was struck where the freedom of movement still exists, then 5,000 jobs could be added, it found.

The latter scenario would seem unlikely, with both Labour and the Tories saying an end to the freedom of movement is necessary.

Press Association

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