A UK film about an alternative World War II history in which Britain is invaded by the Germans shows the benefits of Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs) as a way for movie-makers to get backing.
That's the view of Amanda Faber of Big Rich Films and producer of Resistance, a film she has produced with Richard Holmes with an award winning cast that's receiving great word of mouth reviews even before it is released later this year. Shipleys advised the film-makers on the EIS and around £915,0000 was raised for Resistance.
The movie's story is set in 1944 when after failed D Day landings a German counter-attack lands on British soil and within a month half of Britain is occupied. Amanda had no previous experience of financing a movie using the EIS so found advice from Shipleys 'incredibly helpful'. That assistance included instructions on what needed doing at each stage in the EIS process. such as arranging share certificates, tax clearance for investors and obtaining the relevant tax reliefs. 'You need to be very careful to abide by the rules about who you can show the EIS offer document to and to make sure that investors qualified for the tax reliefs and Shipleys were flawless at this', says Amanda. With Shipleys help, a series of presentations were staged around the country to potential investors. Eighty – six eventually got on board, each making a minimum pledge of £5000 with a handful investing more.
But Amanda explains that this was no easy task, taking over a year to complete. 'The key was probably getting to know people from the area in Wales where the film is set, I was overwhelmed with the enthusiasm and support from locals who live close to the Olchon Valley where the film was shot,' she said. Although the Harry Potter movie success story led to a change in the EIS rules so that only one scheme per film is now permitted, Amanda is convinced EISs are the way forward to get people behind British films.
The obvious attractions of EIS for investors included tax relief but the producers of Resistance were also keen to involve investors as much as possible in the film – with visits to the set, giving them props to keep and even offering them roles as extras in period costume. The Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) now has more generous benefits and potentially applies to a wider range of companies. Those businesses looking at their funding options should consider whether it might apply to them.