FPC40030 - Qualifying films: British film


Only films that have been certified as a British films are eligible for Film Tax Relief (FTR). Such certification may either be interim, if the film has not been completed, or final, if it has.

Certifying authority

A British film is one which is certified as such by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport under Schedule 1 to the Films Act 1985.

The Secretary of State certifies films on the advice of the BFI Certification Unit, and any enquiries concerning this should be directed to them at

Certification Unit
21 Stephen Street
London W1T 1LN

Tel 020 7173 3214

email: anna.mansi@bfi.org.uk

Qualifying conditions

There are three ways in which a film can qualify as British. It may:

  • satisfy the cultural test inserted into Schedule 1 to the Films Act 1985 by SI2006/3430 (the Films (Definition of a British Film) (No. 2) Order 2006);
  • meet the terms of one of the United Kingdom’s bilateral co-production treaties; or
  • meet the terms of the European Convention on Cinematic Co-Production.

In all cases, the film must be formally certified to qualify for FTR. It is not sufficient for the film production company merely to assert that it meets one of the three tests set out above.