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BFI 5 year boost to production, education and heritage

BFI 5 year boost to production, education and heritage

BFI 5 year boost to production, education and heritage

The BFI has outlined proposals to invest about £275 million pounds, over five years, to boost three main areas of the British film industry.

Just two years after critics of the coalition government warned that the abolition of the UK 

Film Council would be the death knell for the British film industry, National Lottery funding for film has been boosted, with more than £55 million a year being invested in British cinema, across production, education and heritage.

The BFI, which took over the UK Film Councils role in dishing out lottery money about a year ago, says that under its proposals, the production and development funds would increase by 30% up until 2017, to more than £28 million a year. Its New Horizons plan proposes that £17 million a year will be invested in film education and building audiences. Another £3 million will be spent annually on film heritage, including the digitisation of ten thousand British films. Therell be a further one million pounds a year for research and statistics and a contingency of another £3 million a year.

The BFI says it will be able to deliver this programme at a cost of just 8% of the total budget; the UK Film Council spent nearer 20% of its cash on adminstration.

A four week consultation period has begun, that will take in nine cities across the UK, including London, Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast. Bristol and Sheffield. An event will also take place at the Cannes Film Festival to include international film makers, whose money makes up a huge amount of the investment in the industry in the UK.

Senior executives at Universal Pictures told UKscreen this week that it is increasingly shooting blockbusters, such as the soon-to-be-released Snow White & the Huntsman and the upcoming movie version of Les Miserables in the UK, because it gets better tax incentives from Britain that it does in California.

The British government has to trade off between the amount it hands out in tax credits to film-makers and the amount of business it brings into the UK. Last year, BFI figures showed that more than a billion pounds of foreign investment was made in films that were made in Britain.

The BFIs proposals, in response to the former Culture Secretary Lord Smiths review of film policy, include making film part of the education of every child in the country and the setting up of a UK-wide film academy to spot and nurture the talent of the future. It will also provide digital projectors for up to a thousand community centres across the UK, to expand the possibilities for exhibition.

The additional support for production and development would include new talent centres for writers, directors and producers and measures would be brought in to equip up to five thousand people a year with new film-making skills.

The chairman of the BFI, Greg Dyke, said the organisations bold, long term vision would genuinely make a difference to education, audiences and filmmakers and would boost jobs and the economy, by stimulating inward investment.

The BFIs chief executive Amanda Nevill said the plan wasnt just for the next five years, but to try to give people a lifelong relationship with film, both as audiences as filmmakers.



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