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An interview with Jan Pace

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An interview with Jan Pace, Director of Quickfire, one of our media fund portfolio companies.

What impact does Quickfire make on the UK film industry?

In the broadest terms, Quickfire acquires independently made feature films from around the world and sells them on to audiences worldwide.

Our impact on the industry is best looked at from a cultural perspective: the UK film industry today, as well as the English language industry generally, is at an interesting crossroads. There is a seemingly unending appetite for high quality story led content that television has in some ways stepped in to fill by long-form serials or ‘box sets’. This has meant that talent of the kind that traditionally would have worked in film are now working in TV. This has created a certain scarcity of easily recognizable talent to attach to independent feature films.

This is playing to Quickfire’s advantage in two ways: first the more limited supply of quality projects now tend to have better talent attached; secondly, there is a small but noticeable flourishing of interest in first-time and up and coming directors and actors that would have been inconceivable a few years ago.

As Quickfire is so firmly embedded in the film industry, we help to provide the editorial steer to a lot of English language production that has unfortunately been lacking in the past with more indiscriminate tax-driven investors in film projects.

Quickfire backs screenwriters, directors and talent in the knowledge that this is the safest way to market. Our vision is that we, along with a few competitors who are still operating, are driving an uplift in the quality of independent films, which in turn will hopefully lead to a gradual but perceptible shift in the cultural attention back to cinema.

Commercially, Quickfire’s impact on the film business is to generate revenue for the UK economy; we do this by acquiring projects from around the world and sell them to the UK and ‘international’ markets thus driving revenues to the UK film business that would otherwise have bypassed the UK entirely.

Also as most film and television revenues worldwide are denominated in US Dollars (occasionally, Euros) when selling its films around the world, Quickfire Films is bringing foreign currency into the UK economy, enhancing the value of the film business, and broader economy by providing external capital.

How has Quickfire grown since investment and what is your vision for further growth?

Thanks to Oxford Capital’s investment, Quickfire now has the ability to acquire projects much more aggressively and ensure it is first in line when film producers are looking for an international partner. In 2016 – the year prior to Oxford’s investment, Quickfire had acquired just 3 films over the course of a little over a year. Since raising funds with Oxford Capital, over the course of six to eight months, Quickfire has now acquired 6 projects, with a further 4 in the immediate pipeline, in the process building at least two new key strategic partnerships with film producers. The investment has also raised Quickfire’s profile and resource pool to allow us to process well over 250 creditable project submissions from reliable producers and partners around the world. Quickfire’s reach in the market has as a consequence grown dramatically and we will be able to exploit this to get quicker access to more commercial films. In the longer term, our informal partnerships with award-winning and highly commercial film-makers will drive Quickfire to expand on its position in the UK film business – from being an international agent to being a genuine market hub for English language film – therefore driving and shaping the perception of independent English language film around the world.



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