Friday 21 July 2017

Bevan slams UK Film Council axing

Tim Bevan has criticised the decision to axe the UK Film Council
Tim Bevan has criticised the decision to axe the UK Film Council

Notting Hill and Love Actually producer Tim Bevan has attacked the Government's decision to axe the UK Film Council, calling it a "regressive step".

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced in July that the body, which supports the British movie industry, would be scrapped to cut down on bureaucracy.

But Mr Bevan, who is chair of the UK Film Council and whose credits include Four Weddings And A Funeral, Bridget Jones's Diary, and Pride And Prejudice, told a Parliamentary Select Committee that the decision threatened the future of British film.

He said: "The UK Film Council created joined-up thinking. The great danger of the Film Council being closed down is various activities being put out to disparate bodies, and that joined-up thinking goes away.

"That would be a majorly regressive step for film in Britain. The closing down of the Film Council... is a very bad idea. ...I don't think any money is going to be saved by the closure of it and it's a regressive step for film."

The producer said he believed that the Government had not listened to those with experience.

In reference to the Film Council board, he said: "On the board we've got (007 producer) Barbara Broccoli, a household film name, Elisabeth Murdoch, a household studio name, .... I run the biggest independent production company in this country (Working Title).

"I could add two or three other names to that which would would be the group of people who you think should be listened to... we live it, breathe it. I'm not sure those people have been seen or not. "

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