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12/06/2003

UK Film Council report detailed take on film

A report released by the UK Film Council has revealed that almost 51,000 people are engaged in the film industry and that more than one in four people in the UK visited the cinema at least once a month in 2002.
Among the findings included in the ‘Film in the UK 2002 Statistical Yearbook’ was that cinema admissions in 2002 reached the highest level for 30 years, with 176 million visits to the cinema - a 13% increase on 2001. The film and video industries now employ a record 50,971 people. The workforce has increased by almost 60% since 1994 compared with an increase in the overall UK workforce of 12.5%.
Paying an average of £4.29 per visit, the report found that people were most attracted to comedies, which earned the biggest share of the £755 million box office total.
Commenting on the findings of the report, UK Film Council Chief Executive Officer John Woodward said: "Film is an intensely competitive global industry, as well as a cultural activity, which when we get it right promotes the UK all over the world while making a significant contribution to the economy. This report paints an encouraging picture of film in the UK today but shows that there is also room for improvement in several key areas.
"Without the support of the national lottery and the tax incentives which are essential to building a truly sustainable UK film industry, the vast majority of the UK films featured in this report would not have been made. The challenge now is to ensure that more quality UK-made films are seen on both large and small screens in the UK and abroad.
"The UK continues to be recognised by international filmmakers as one of the best places in the world to make a film. We have some of the world's most highly qualified and skilled talent both in front of and behind the camera, as well as outstanding studios and facilities.”
Woodward said that there was a need to create better career opportunities for people from minority ethnic groups who make up less than 5% of the film production workforce. He also called for measures to ensure that the UK continued to have a highly skilled workforce to make British films and to attract filmmakers from overseas, that this was the remit given to the Film Skills Action Group.
He added: "Despite our successes we still lag far behind other countries in terms of involvement by broadcasters in film and we also need to strengthen the links between UK filmmakers and film distributors, there is no point in making a film which people do not get the chance to see."
The report, which presents the most comprehensive picture ever of film in the UK, covers top films and box office results in 2002; the genre, language and classification of 2002 films; the audience appeal of different types of film; the international theatrical market; overseas trade results for the UK film industry, VHS/DVD and television film markets; and analysis of the exhibition, distribution, production and labour force.
(SP)
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