To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government is taking to promote the Scottish Highlands as a film location for movies and television.
12 July 2021
My department continues to work closely with its Arm’s Length Body, the British Film Institute (BFI), to ensure it meets the full range of its responsibilities, including to support the film sector nationwide. In its ongoing support for Scottish production, the Government has worked with the BFI to ensure a wide range of funding and initiatives are available to support Scottish production and the development of talent.
Examples of support that have been given to the Scottish film industry include the BFI Film Fund, the BFI NETWORK and the BFI Film Audience Network, which use National Lottery Funding for development, production, distribution and promotion, supporting Scottish films, Scottish audiences and emerging Scottish filmmakers. The BFI Film Fund has funded a number of Scottish projects including The Origin, which was shot in the Scottish Highlands in October 2020.
The British Film Commission (BFC), a national body predominantly funded by DCMS, also supports and promotes UK-wide film and high-end television production, including in Scotland. It works in close partnership with Screen Scotland, the national screen agency for Scotland funded by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. Scotland is featured as part of all BFC marketing campaigns and assets, including show reels, websites and brochures, that are designed to facilitate film making and promote British locations, and the BFC facilitates regular business development meetings with international film and television clients. These meetings include representatives from all UK nations, including Scotland.
Following the outbreak of Covid-19 the Government has worked closely with the UK Nations to ensure Covid-secure production guidance supports safe production for film and high-end television in Scotland and across the UK. Screen Scotland has been part of the Screen Sector Taskforce, coordinated by the BFI, which helped to develop the guidance and has also looked at the impact of Covid and recovery measures for the sector, in collaboration with DCMS. In addition, the UK-wide £500 million Film and TV Production Restart Scheme is getting nationwide TV and film productions that have been halted or delayed by a lack of insurance back up and running, by giving productions the confidence they need that they will be supported if losses are incurred due to Covid-19.
VisitBritain also uses high profile filming locations as part of its international tourism marketing activity. For example, in the past it has run campaigns promoting Glen Coe, as featured in James Bond’s Skyfall.