For British film producers plying their wares at the Cannes festival, the prospect of Brexit represents something between a tale of suspense and an outright horror movie.
There are many worried faces amongst all the razzamatazz at the glitzy festival in the south of France namely those of British film-makers fretting over what exiting the European Union will mean for their country’s powerful movie industry, and the European producers who often work with them.
“We’re heartbroken, really,” said British producer Elizabeth Morgan Hemlock, who is currently working with a Paris-based director on a documentary about intelligence agencies.
“My time has always been spent travelling to Europe, whether to co-production markets from Gran Canaria or the Berlin film festival, for 20 years. There’s a worry that the laws will change and everything will become harder than it already is. We’re being isolated from our colleagues.”
Topping the list of concerns: what the possibility of much tighter immigration controls might mean for the highly-internationalised industry, and the potential loss of access to EU cash that has previously helped fund British hits like Oscar-winner “The King’s Speech” and last year’s Cannes winner “I, Daniel Blake”.
Then there is the wider unknown impact of a potential exit from the EU’s single market in the case of a so-called “hard Brexit”.
An enormous chunk of the money that feeds Britain’s film industry comes from abroad according to the British Film Institute, inward investment made up 86 percent of the o1.9 billion ($2.5 billion, 2.2 billion euros) spent on movie production in the UK in the year from April 2016.