Japan's increasing interest in the UK's creative industries has been described as a "love affair" by the UK Government as exports continue to rise in takings since 2015. Following the January visit of Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, figures have been revealed that show film, music and video games from the UK are increasingly popular among the Japanese.
Film, television and video games
February sees both the BAFTAs (British Academy FIlm and Television Awards) and Oscars (Academy Awards) ceremonies take place, marking the apex and closure of film awards season. As on every year, attention goes to those British hopefuls whose talents and creativity is highlighted.
Channel 4 and BFI-supported The Favourite has been nominated across numerous categories, with Olivia Colman - who plays Queen Elizabeth II in the third season of Netflix show The Crown - nominated for Best Actress at both Academy Awards and BAFTAs for her performance as Queen Anne.
Six boroughs in London will receive over £11 million in funds to support artists and small creative businesses as the city’s first Creative Enterprise Zones (CEZ).
The CEZs are expected to create 3,500 new jobs, 1,000 new training, job and education opportunities for residents, and over 40,000 square metres of new affordable workspace.
The boroughs named as CEZs are:
The Department of International Trade (DIT) will be taking an interactive/immersive mission in March 2019 to South by Southwest (SXSW), the leading industry and public event for music, film, interactive and tech.
The ten-day show, based in Austin, Texas, is set to attract around 300,000 visitors between 8-17 March 2019.
From entrepreneurs and investors to cutting edge digital disruptors, it will give organisations the chance to demonstrate their creativity, expertise, technology and innovation while making contacts to foster business development and professional growth.
A report commissioned by the British Film Institute (BFI), Screen Business, analyses the imapact of screen industry tax reliefs, including Video Games Tax Reflief and Childrens Television Tax Relief for the first time.
The report shows that the UK film and TV industry generated a record £7.9 billion in 2016. This figure was helped by government tax relief of £632 million, which also helped drive around £3.16 billion into the creation of films, high-end TV and video games. Tax take from this activity reached £2 billion.
Jeremy Wright, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), spoke about the "calling card" of creativity at the Creative Industries Federation International Summit on 9 October 2018.
Among the praise he gave were statistics on UK recording artists acounting for 8 of the top 10 artist albums in 2017, UK film earning a sixth of total film revenue worldwide and being the largest publisher of physical books in the world.
The UK government has awarded £10 million funding to set up a national centre for immersive storytelling.
The StoryFutures Academy will pioneer next-generation storytelling, looking to harness technologies such as augmented, virtual and mixed reality as well as smart devices and artificial intelligence.
An annual fixture in the film-lovers calendar, the BFI London Film Festival 2018 takes place 10–24 October. It includes 225 feature films including documentaries, animations, and archive restorations, with 21 world premieres, 9 international premieres and 29 European premieres.
The highlights include some of the finest British filmmakers and talent, celebrating the best in UK creativity, as well as a variety of high-profile international work.
The UK video game industry's revenue grew to £697m, over 34 per cent on 2017. Research by Funding Options shows a growing consumer demand, with 12 per cent more being spent on games, and the booming popularity of mobile games.
The GREAT Britain Campaign is supporting Hay Festival in Segovia – the biggest literature event in Spain – which takes place 20–23 September 2018. It will highlight the two country's shared love of literature and promote partnerships between British and Spanish creative industries.
The activity is part of a wider campaign across Europe which aims to shine a light on the UK’s strengths and partnerships to European audiences.
British authors and artists taking part in the festival programme include: