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HMRC internal manual

Film Production Company Manual

Co-productions: introduction


A co-production is a film produced under the terms of an international co-production agreement between two or more countries or authorities.

In the UK, such films are made under:

  • a bilateral co-production treaty or
  • the European Convention on Cinematic Co-production.

The aim of these agreements is to encourage international co-operation between film makers, working together to produce a film involving the skills and resources of more than one country. Further details, including the text of the relevant agreements, are available on the Department for Culture, Media and Sport website

One of the benefits of making a film as an official co-production is that the producers are able to have access to the support provided to national films in each of the co-producing countries, including, where appropriate, tax relief. As for other films, a co-production must be certified as a British film in order to be eligible for Film Tax Relief (FTR) (FPC40030).

Co-productions will be certified as British by meeting the requirements of:

  • one of the UK’s international bilateral co-production agreements; or
  • the European Convention on Cinematographic co-Production (ECCC).

Films made jointly by more than one producer in different countries but outside the terms of these international agreements are not treated as co-productions for the purposes of FTR. Such films can only be certified as British by meeting the requirements of Schedule 1 to the Films Act 1985.