Film Distributors Association

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Film Distributors Association's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Film Distributors Association is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP

www.launchingfilms.com

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
30 | FILM DISTRIBUTORS ASSOCIATION
President Lord Puttnam of
Queensgate CBE
The FDA’s books,
Delivering Dreams
(2015) and
Stairways to Heaven
(2018) by Geoffrey Macnab,
recount the development of film distribution in the UK
With Lord Puttnam as its President, the Film Distributors’
Association provides support to the UK film distribution
sector through five main methods: training, copyright
safeguarding, media services, audience development, and policy
and resources. In the last year, more than 800 feature films
were showcased in British cinemas, while the top 20 accounted
for half of all ticket sales. Chief Executive Mark Batey tells
The
Parliamentary Review
about their commitment to the education
and training of the next generation and the challenges of piracy.
At the heart of the film industry is a skilled distribution process that connects films
with audiences. If the word “distribution” conjures up images of forklifts and
warehouses, think again. Film distributors source and acquire the rights to films and
position them in a crowded marketplace. They then release them on all available
formats and execute innovative advertising and partnership campaigns to engage
audiences who have a super-abundance of media and entertainment options in
and out of the home.
Film distributors bear all of the commercial risk for every film they release. They invest
around £350 million each year to bring their releases to UK audiences – in addition
to formidable investments in film production. In 2018, more than 800 feature films
were launched in UK cinemas. Audiences felt motivated to see particular titles thanks
to professional distribution, which built awareness and socialcurrency.
Box-office receipts roll into cinema tills as film releases and their launch campaigns
roll out. Like all forms of entertainment, the film business is product driven – the
films themselves are why people buy tickets. Few venture out to a cinema with no
FACTS ABOUT
FILM DISTRIBUTORS
ASSOCIATION
»President: Lord Puttnam of
Queensgate CBE
»Chief Executive: Mark Batey
»Established in 1915
»Based in Soho, London
»Services: Championing the
generic interests of UK film
distributors
»Our diverse membership
extends to 32 companies; the
films they release generate 98
per cent of UK cinema v isits
Film Distributors
Association
31FILM DISTRIBUTORS ASSOCIATION |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
idea what they want to see. In 2018,
UK citizens made 177 million cinema
visits, the highest number since 1970,
spending £1.3 billion, including VAT,
on their tickets. With just one per cent
of the world’s population, the UK
delivers five per cent of the world’s
box-office receipts.
We are delighted to champion the UK
film distribution sector, for which we
have developed five ever-evolving work
streams:
»Training and development
»Safeguarding copyright – the
intellectual property rights that
underpin the whole film industry
»Media services
»Audience development
»Policy and resources
Our training programme aims to
enhance the talents, confidence
and networks of people from entry
level to senior managers. We offer a
foundation course, immersing recent
starters in all aspects of the film “value
chain”, and modular courses to hone
the management skills needed in 21st-
century workplaces. For some years,
most of our training places have been
occupied by women.
We co-ordinate a paid internship
scheme, which entered its fifth year
in 2019. The cohorts have been
predominantly women of BAME origin,
and we’re delighted that dozens of
them remain employed in UK film
today. It is vital that ScreenSkills,
the sector’s training body, supports
continuing professional development
training for businesspeople, alongside
those in the production crafts.
The scourge of film piracy
Most “pirated” films available online
and on discs around the world are
sourced in cinemas. In the UK, we’ve
built an enviable track record of
preventing illegal recordings, usually
made on smartphones and uploaded
swiftly afterwards.
Our specialist unit investigates cases of
copyright theft in co-operation with the
law enforcement community. Last year,
it also delivered anti-piracy training to
2,000 cinema staff and rewarded the
best practitioners for their vigilance.
No fewer than 146 suspected attempts
to record films in cinemas were
reported to us in 2018. Local police
attended 97 of the incidents, resulting
The head of the FDA’s
anti-piracy unit, Simon
Brown, and voice artist
supreme, Redd Pepper,
with recipients at our
best practice awards
event in July 2019
With just one
per cent of the
world’s
population, the
UK delivers five
per cent of the
world’s box-
office receipts
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
30 | FILM DISTRIBUTORS ASSOCIATION
President Lord Puttnam of
Queensgate CBE
The FDA’s books,
Delivering Dreams
(2015) and
Stairways to Heaven
(2018) by Geoffrey Macnab,
recount the development of film distribution in the UK
With Lord Puttnam as its President, the Film Distributors’
Association provides support to the UK film distribution
sector through five main methods: training, copyright
safeguarding, media services, audience development, and policy
and resources. In the last year, more than 800 feature films
were showcased in British cinemas, while the top 20 accounted
for half of all ticket sales. Chief Executive Mark Batey tells
The
Parliamentary Review
about their commitment to the education
and training of the next generation and the challenges of piracy.
At the heart of the film industry is a skilled distribution process that connects films
with audiences. If the word “distribution” conjures up images of forklifts and
warehouses, think again. Film distributors source and acquire the rights to films and
position them in a crowded marketplace. They then release them on all available
formats and execute innovative advertising and partnership campaigns to engage
audiences who have a super-abundance of media and entertainment options in
and out of the home.
Film distributors bear all of the commercial risk for every film they release. They invest
around £350 million each year to bring their releases to UK audiences – in addition
to formidable investments in film production. In 2018, more than 800 feature films
were launched in UK cinemas. Audiences felt motivated to see particular titles thanks
to professional distribution, which built awareness and socialcurrency.
Box-office receipts roll into cinema tills as film releases and their launch campaigns
roll out. Like all forms of entertainment, the film business is product driven – the
films themselves are why people buy tickets. Few venture out to a cinema with no
FACTS ABOUT
FILM DISTRIBUTORS
ASSOCIATION
»President: Lord Puttnam of
Queensgate CBE
»Chief Executive: Mark Batey
»Established in 1915
»Based in Soho, London
»Services: Championing the
generic interests of UK film
distributors
»Our diverse membership
extends to 32 companies; the
films they release generate 98
per cent of UK cinema v isits
Film Distributors
Association
31FILM DISTRIBUTORS ASSOCIATION |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
idea what they want to see. In 2018,
UK citizens made 177 million cinema
visits, the highest number since 1970,
spending £1.3 billion, including VAT,
on their tickets. With just one per cent
of the world’s population, the UK
delivers five per cent of the world’s
box-office receipts.
We are delighted to champion the UK
film distribution sector, for which we
have developed five ever-evolving work
streams:
»Training and development
»Safeguarding copyright – the
intellectual property rights that
underpin the whole film industry
»Media services
»Audience development
»Policy and resources
Our training programme aims to
enhance the talents, confidence
and networks of people from entry
level to senior managers. We offer a
foundation course, immersing recent
starters in all aspects of the film “value
chain”, and modular courses to hone
the management skills needed in 21st-
century workplaces. For some years,
most of our training places have been
occupied by women.
We co-ordinate a paid internship
scheme, which entered its fifth year
in 2019. The cohorts have been
predominantly women of BAME origin,
and we’re delighted that dozens of
them remain employed in UK film
today. It is vital that ScreenSkills,
the sector’s training body, supports
continuing professional development
training for businesspeople, alongside
those in the production crafts.
The scourge of film piracy
Most “pirated” films available online
and on discs around the world are
sourced in cinemas. In the UK, we’ve
built an enviable track record of
preventing illegal recordings, usually
made on smartphones and uploaded
swiftly afterwards.
Our specialist unit investigates cases of
copyright theft in co-operation with the
law enforcement community. Last year,
it also delivered anti-piracy training to
2,000 cinema staff and rewarded the
best practitioners for their vigilance.
No fewer than 146 suspected attempts
to record films in cinemas were
reported to us in 2018. Local police
attended 97 of the incidents, resulting
The head of the FDA’s
anti-piracy unit, Simon
Brown, and voice artist
supreme, Redd Pepper,
with recipients at our
best practice awards
event in July 2019
With just one
per cent of the
world’s
population, the
UK delivers five
per cent of the
world’s box-
office receipts
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
32 | FILM DISTRIBUTORS ASSOCIATION
in 12 arrests and 19 formal cautions.
It’s widely recognised that copyright
theft can be serious and organised,
often linked to other kinds of crime.
Last May, two cases came to court, in
Newcastle and Glasgow. Both trials
resulted in successful prosecutions
and media coverage, which should
continue to deter others. A robust
regime to protect copyright remains
essential for our economy and society.
Press previews in three
regional hubs
Day by day, we fulfil the essential
behind-the-scenes task of co-ordinating
a central schedule of preview screenings
for editors, critics and online influencers
– all branches of UK media.
There are well-established preview
formats in London and Glasgow, while
recently we launched a new series of
press shows and events in Manchester.
In London’s West End, we present
“FDA Showcases”. These events give
a platform to British, independent and
specialised films for media who might
not otherwise see them.
Online influencers are a target audience
for our film-themed pop-up events.
We’ve run these in holiday seasons
as a means of sharing with visitors,
free of charge, a range of stimuli – VR
experiences, poster displays, creative
play areas and our own unique LEGO
model cinema, built from 25,000 bricks.
Partnership working
We collaborate with many organisations
to achieve shared objectives. In
partnership with The Film Space and
FutureLearn, the Open University’s
online education platform, we launched
a massive open online course about film
distribution – more than 2,000 people
signed up for its first edition in 2018.
We worked with the publisher IB Tauris,
now part of Bloomsbury, on a well-
received book about the huge growth
of our industry over the last three
decades. Written by Geoffrey Macnab,
Stairways to Heaven: Rebuilding the
British Film Industry
was launched at
a BAFTA reception attended by Lord
Smith of Finsbury, Daniel Battsek (head
of Film4) and other contributors.
We maintained our sponsorships of the
National Film & Television School and
YourLocalCinema.com. This trusted,
independent website, app and social
network promotes films with digital
subtitles and audio description and
plays subtitled trailers for cinema-goers
with hearing or sight loss.
We are fortunate to have Lord Puttnam
of Queensgate CBE as our president.
Lord Puttnam has consistently called for
flexibility – to ensure that the digitisation
of cinemas, largely funded by distributors,
does not disadvantage distributors; that
established release patterns do not stifle
innovation; and that the EU digital single
market retains flexibility for territorial
and pan-European licensing.
The film business is fast-moving and
competitive, and distribution serves as its
lynchpin. We’re optimistic about future
prospects for film in the UK. However
technologies and platforms continue
to evolve, public demand for great
characters and stories told in the form
of feature films appears to be insatiable.
Happily, it’s an area of creative
endeavour in which the UK punches far
above its weight, and we are thrilled to
be part of the vibrantecosystem.
However
technologies
and platforms
continue to
evolve, public
demand for
great
characters and
stories told in
the form of
feature films
appears to be
insatiable
“Marilyn Monroe”
greets guests at our
November 2018 event in
Manchester, previewing
the UK film release line-
up for cinema bookers
33THE BAKEHOUSE FACTORY |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
Managing Director Kate Statham
(centre) with Creative Director
Hannah McGavin (left) and
Design Director Dan McGavin
(right)
We provide immersive theatrical
experiences for a range of clients
Originally established by a group of three creative friends
with a passion for immersive events, Bakehouse Factory
provides theatrical productions on behalf of retail
landowners, public spaces and corporate clients. Offering
these experiences for free to the public, they have become
a benchmark of quality in their industry. Instead of using
third parties to source their props and components, they
manufacture them all inhouse to ensure cohesion. Managing
Director Kate Statham tells
The Parliamentary Review
about how
their combination of skillsets has driven their success and their
expansion into ticketed events.
We were established seven years ago and at this point, we were very much a
kitchen table business. I formed the company with two friends and each of us had
different, but well-suited, skillsets and a shared background in event production
and performing arts. I had worked for many years brokering collaborations on
behalf of cultural institutions and artists with media partners, commissioners and
corporate organisations. This provided us with an understanding of both the public
and the private sector. Hannah was our performer, choreographer and director;
and Dan was our fabricator, designing and building anything we required. We
began the business because we identified an opportunity to create truly immersive
and magical events that could communicate directly and meaningfully with an
audience; providing a transformative experience for them while also conveying
a brand message, helping to define a place, or create awareness of an issue. We
were determined to deliver only the best quality theatre in places where it was
FACTS ABOUT
THE BAKEHOUSE FACTORY
»Managing Director:
KateStatham
»Established in 2012
»Based in Bristol
»Services: Immersive theatrical
experiences
»No. of employees: 14
»www.bakehousefactory.co.uk
The Bakehouse
Factory

www.launchingfilms.com

This article was sponsored by Film Distributors Association. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster