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05/08/2010

Actors Take Lead Over Film Council

The demise of the UK Film Council has led to a new role for more than 50 leading actors and actresses.
They have joined forces to hit out at Government plans to scrap the agency.
In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, stars such as Bill Nighy, Timothy Spall and Emily Blunt warned the decision over the industry support body threatened a "British success story".
Thanks to the success of films like Bend It Like Beckham, In The Loop and Gosford Park, the council was worth £4.5 billion to the UK, they added.
The letter said: "We all owe any success we have had in our acting careers, to varying degrees, to films supported by the UK Film Council (UKFC).
"Everyone, including those in the film industry, knows that times are tough and the Government has to make savings.
"But the UKFC doesn't waste money, it makes it. For every pound it invests, the country gets £5 back."
Other signatories include Sir Ian Holm, Pete Postlethwaite and Sophie Okonedo.
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced the closure plans last month, sparking criticism from across the industry.
The UK Film Council was created in 2000, and has invested more than £160 million of Lottery funding into more than 900 films, which has helped generate more than £700 million at the worldwide box office.
Co Antrim-born film and TV actor, Liam Neeson has already spoken out on the move and condemned the Culture Secretary for his lack of vision.
Liam Neeson has called the decision to axe the organisation "deplorable" and he said that examples of the organisation's work include funding to Breakfast On Pluto and The Other Man, both of which starred Liam Neeson.
See: Loss Of Film Council 'Deplorable': Neeson
(BMcC/GK)
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