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05/03/2001

MINISTER TOASTS YORKSHIRE FILM SUCCESS

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FILM Minister Janet Anderson said at the opening of the Bradford Film Festival: "Film making in the regions is alive and kicking, especially in Yorkshire."
Speaking to film makers on the Festival's opening night at the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, Janet Anderson (pictured)reaffirmed the Government's commitment to developing the British film industry.
Anderson said: "The Bradford Film Festival gives regional film a voice and goes a long way to raise the profile of film in the regions. I am particularly delighted that it is being organised by the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television which is a natural home for film buffs.
"Ensuring that all regions have the opportunity to grow and share in our growing film industry is essential if we are to realise a sustainable film industry in this country.
"That is why, when we established the Film Council last year, we asked them to consider how it could help regional film making as a matter of urgency. Their report Film in England looks at bridging the gaps between the film and moving image bodies in each of the English regions."
The Film Council aims to commit up to £6 million a year for three years from April 2001, including £3 million of new resources, to a new Regional Investment Fund. This will help to build a new film, television and media structure in each region which will determine its own industrial and cultural priorities, including priorities for cinema exhibition and film education.
Anderson said: "‘Saving Private Ryan’, ‘102 Dalmatians’ and ‘Gladiator’ prove that we can bring Hollywood to Britain. Our regions have shared in the international focus as well as in our home-grown film creations.
"Yorkshire has been the busiest English region for filming outside the South East being involved in films such as ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone’, ‘The Full Monty’ and Ken Loach's ‘Navigator’. The diversity of locations, the presence of highly skilled technicians and the wealth of support services, including a very pro-active Screen Commission, has ensured that Yorkshire is at the forefront of UK regional production. The spin-off benefits to the local economy such as tourism mean that the film industry has a lot to offer regional regeneration."
Film production in Yorkshire is worth over £30 million a year and has seen impressive employment growth: the freelance sector has risen from 700 people in 1996 to over 1,500 today.
Nationally, 2000 was a record year for UK Film Production. £211.7million was spent on 52 UK produced feature films, including ‘Bridget Jones' Diary’, ‘Enigma’ and ‘Born Romantic’. (CD)
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