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Tuesday 12 December 2017

Producer slams Film Council plans

Tim Bevan has hit out at plans to scrap the UK Film Council
Tim Bevan has hit out at plans to scrap the UK Film Council

Film producer Tim Bevan has criticised plans to scrap the UK Film Council - the body which supports the British movie industry - as part of a drive to cut costs.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt wants to axe the organisation, whose remit also includes nurturing UK film talent at home and abroad, to ensure "greater value for money".

Bevan, whose credits include Notting Hill, Atonement and Bridget Jones's Diary, criticised the announcement, in his role as chair of the UK Film Council, as a "bad decision imposed without any consultation or evaluation".

The UK Film Council was created in 2000, and, it says, has invested over £160 million of Lottery funding into more than 900 films which has helped generate over £700 million at the worldwide box office.

Mr Hunt said he wanted to establish "a direct and less bureaucratic relationship with the British Film Institute" and that Government and Lottery support for film would continue.

But Bevan said the axe had fallen as British film makers needed more support than ever.

He said: "Abolishing the most successful film support organisation the UK has ever had is a bad decision, imposed without any consultation or evaluation.

"People will rightly look back on this announcement and say it was a big mistake, driven by short-term thinking and political expediency. British film, which is one of the UK's more successful growth industries, deserves better."

The UK Film Council has funded films such as Bend It Like Beckham, The Constant Gardener, Fish Tank, Gosford Park, Happy-Go-Lucky, In The Loop, The Last King Of Scotland, Man On Wire, Nowhere Boy, St Trinian's, This Is England, Touching The Void, Vera Drake, Red Road, The Wind That Shakes The Barley and Streetdance 3D.

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