A new £7 million scheme aimed at helping independent UK films reach an international audience has been unveiled.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) scheme has been developed in partnership with the British Film Institute (BFI).

Independent film companies will be able to benefit from grants for costs including business development and international distribution.

Oliver Dowden meets with senior industry figures (DCMS/PA)

The scheme aims to help independent film companies “compete globally and bringing further recognition to the world-renowned British film industry”, according to a statement from DCMS.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden visited Warner Bros Studios in Leavesden, Hertfordshire, on Thursday in support of the launch, where he spoke to senior industry figures including Warner Bros executive vice-president Kevin Trehy.

Recent months have seen the studio complex used by the productions of the third Fantastic Beasts film and Mission: Impossible 7.

Mr Dowden said: “The United Kingdom has an independent screen industry to be proud of.

Oliver Dowden visits Warner Bros Studios in Leavesden (DCMS/PA)

“World renowned, our film, TV, video game and animation industries create jobs and growth the length and breadth of the UK.

“The UK Global Screen Fund will export the extraordinary talent and creativity of the UK to audiences across the globe, supporting our talented filmmakers and screen businesses to compete and grow.”

BFI CEO Ben Roberts said: “Today’s announcement of the £7 million pilot UK Global Screen Fund will deliver a vital boost to the UK’s exceptional independent screen sector by stimulating international partnerships and generating new export opportunities.

“As we look to this weekend’s Oscars, and the incredible line up of UK nominees, it’s clear our screen industries continue to punch above their weight internationally, and contribute significantly to the UK economy.

“It’s vital we continue to build on the global impact of our diverse and brilliant independent screen content, enabling the creativity and success for which the UK is so renowned.”

Captain Marvel European Premiere – London
Jude Law (Ian West/PA)

Actor and producer Jude Law welcomed the move.

He said: “There is enormous recognition and respect worldwide for British film and television.

“It’s a prominent breeding ground for great storytelling and creativity, pioneering opportunities internationally.

“This additional investment will assist in sparking new international partnerships for the UK industry, generating more jobs and taking our productions to new global audiences.”