North East film industry - what does the future hold?

After surviving the pandemic and the unique challenges lockdown posed, the future of our local film industry is looking bright

Rachel Carron
23rd September 2022
Image Credit: IMDb

After struggling with representation among UK production companies pre-pandemic and facing further challenges during lockdown, is there any hope for the future of the North East film industry?

It came as no surprise that the film industry was put under immense stress during lockdown. With cinema closures and the immediate termination of production globally, there was panic over where funding would come from to allow many production companies to stay afloat. 

Thankfully, since 2020 the UK has seen the release of TV blockbusters such as the latest seasons of The Crown and Bridgerton, which attracted a viewership of 82 million households across the globe. As stated by the Chief Executive of Film London, Adrian Wooton, “The UK is enjoying a once-in-a-generation growth in production.” 

Image Credit: The Crown, IMDb

The relative boom of the film industry post-lockdown could be attributed to the funds promised by the government and local councils. This includes the UK Film & TV Restart Production Scheme which promised £500 million for over 835 production companies and the subsequent production of 70,000 jobs (Gov.uk). 

However, as Wooton’s title suggests, it is often forgotten that film and TV production does exist outside the borders of our capital city.

With the North East Screen and Northern Studio opening in Hartlepool this year, there is optimism to be had about the North East film industry

Pre-pandemic, only a worrying 2% of content produced in the UK was based in the North East (Chronicle Live, Jan 2022). This begs the question of how much of the pledged £500 million was actually seen by the North East. 

Skepticism aside, with companies such as North East Screen and Northern Studio opening in Hartlepool this year, there is optimism to be had about the North East film industry. Especially today, post lockdown, where students and young people can be excited once again at the prospect of careers in the film industry on our front doorstep. 

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