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17/06/2005

UK Film Council welcomes 'MOT' role for UK film production

The UK Film Council has welcomed the announcement of a ‘stocktake’ of film policy by Minister for Creative Industries, James Purnell, in a bid to see what more can be done to develop an integrated strategy for British film for the future.
In a speech given to the IPPR, the Minister announced that John Woodward, Chief Executive Officer of the UK Film Council, will lead the ‘stocktake’ of UK film production.
This will consider four key issues for the UK film industry:
  • attracting big budget films to the UK;
  • supporting UK production;
  • improving distribution;
  • and doing more for cultural film.
Tax relief provided for the production of UK films is a matter for the Chancellor of the Exchequer and is currently being looked at by HM Treasury. Tax based support for the industry will not form part of the ‘stocktake’.
Welcoming the move which reinforces the UK Film Council’s leading role in looking at the overarching policy for UK film, John Woodward, Chief Executive Officer said: "Film is an important part of our culture and it's also a highly competitive global industry which is changing and evolving all the time. If the UK is going to meet the challenges of the 21st Century, we need to regularly check that the UK has the right policy framework to deliver success.
“The UK Film Council looks forward to working with the DCMS over the next few months to go over all non-tax policy options in order to make sure that the UK has the right strategies to promote our film culture and to grow our industry - right across the value chain.”
The UK Film Council has heavily supported and invested in strengthening sectors of the industry since its creation in 2000, not least through its funding and policy work.
It has consolidated public funding for film production and development, invested substantially in training and education through its funding of the British Film Institute and Skillset’s film skills strategy, as well as broadening the choice of films for cinemagoers through its revolutionary Digital Screen Network.
John Woodward also welcomed the Minister’s highlighting of the importance of tackling piracy and the role that the BBC can play in supporting the creativity of British industry by investing in British film.
“Tackling film theft and increasing the support and investment of broadcasters, in particular the BBC, in the British film industry are two issues of crucial importance to the future development of our industry and the Government’s commitment to tackling both issues will be welcomed across the industry,” added Woodward.
(SP)
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