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EDN Launches "Influencing Brexit" Campaign at Sheffield Doc/Fest


There is a growing fear growing amongst European documentary filmmakers about what the future of the documentary industry could look like in a post-Brexit world. On Saturday, 9 June, a group of filmmakers at Sheffield Doc/Fest took matters into their own hands, launching a campaign for the UK to stay part of the EU’s Creative Europe programme after Brexit.

Al Morrow, Met Film Production, speaking
at the panel in Sheffield.
Photo Credit: Sheffield Doc/Fest

In the festival industry session Influencing Brexit – Have Your Say, the importance and necessity of the topic was evident by the solid attendance of producers, filmmakers, organisations and educators from the UK and across Europe. The session aimed to inform members of the industry about what was at stake and act as a catalyst to kickstart a new campaign by the European Documentary Network (EDN).

Panelists stressed that European support for documentary funding was not the only thing at stake (Creative Europe has invested over 40 million Euros in the UK’s audio visual sector as a whole since 2014) but also the collaborative opportunities and the cultural exchange that the industry as a whole enjoys. The programme provides development and distribution funding to documentaries as well as support to training, marketplace and festivals.

The panel which included Agnieszka Moody, director of the BFI’s Creative Europe Desk UK and EDN director Paul Pauwels stressed that documentaries across Europe will lose a vital partner and collaborator if the UK is no longer part of the the programme after 2020. There was a clear feeling of mobilisation and engagement and solid support for the EDN’s campaign. The European Documentary Network has launched a campaign for the UK to remain a full and integral member of the Creative Europe programme and its successor after Brexit and beyond.

Signatures can be added here:

The campaign has been endorsed by the Creative Industries Federation. In a statement CIF says:

“On Brexit, we have been engaging with all levels of UK government to ensure the best possible outcome for the creative industries. This includes ensuring ease of movement for EU and UK talent, frictionless access to Europe for UK creative goods and services, and continued participation in EU funding programmes such as Creative Europe.

As we approach March 2019 and important deadlines in the negotiations, it is important that the voice of the documentary sector is clearly heard. We will continue to champion the collective and individual interests of our members, such as documentary makers. And we encourage those who are in support of Creative Europe to sign up to the EDN campaign and to join the Federation as members to help us ensure the documentary sector is at the heart of the ongoing negotiations between the UK and Brussels.

Together, we must ensure that the UK remains an open and welcoming place which promotes cross-border cultural exchange and collaboration. This is essential for the continued success of all our creative industries."

At the session, the EDN urged members of the documentary industry across Britain and mainland Europe to press their politicians to support Britain’s future membership of the Creative Europe programme for the sake of Europe’s cultural future.

This news story has also been published as a press release which is available here: