Fox Searchlight Shines On Ingenious Joint-Venture

A shot in the arm for the UK film industry this week – following news that News Corp’;s Fox Searchlight is to joint-venture with Ingenious Media on a scheme to finance and distribute UK films. The two companies are well-known to each other, having partnered on movies such as Danny Boyle’;s 127 Hours. But this looks like a step up in their relationship, which may fund up to three UK films a year.

Searchlight is well-known for backing films which achieve both critical and commercial success, such as Slumdog Millionaire and Black Swan. Ingenious meanwhile is an astute investment outfit, with diverse interests across film, advertising, TV and various other mediacoms activities.

The news is the latest in a series of upbeat stories which have helped lift the gloom that followed the government’;s announcement that the UK Film Council would be scrapped in 2012. These include a revamp at the BFI, a renewed commitment to National Lottery film-funding, strong UK box office figures and the success of The King’;s Speech on the Awards circuit. Now, the news that Searchlight and Ingenious are looking to work together will help reinforce the sense that Britain is structurally strong enough and creatively important enough to cope with the global downturn.

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