Earlier this week, it was announced that the Government would be closing the Film Council in their efforts to conserve spending and address the debt the country currently finds itself. Well, that’s what we’re led to believe at least.
The Government is currently closing down various bodies that it believes were set up years ago and now no longer have relevance in today’s society. Various health bodies are closing, the Film Council and today, even a large volunteering youth project working in schools. It’s a very sad affair for all involved, not to mention the unemployment it’ll cause if these people aren’t re-deployed (and then if they are, then what money is being saved?)
The Film Council’s aim is to ensure that the economic, cultural and educational aspects of film are effective represented at home and abroad. It did this by funding the creation of new films, funding regional organisations to promote film. It assisted in distribution, undertook research in the field and developed links with industry here and away. They also actively promote diversity and inclusion in the film making arena. The funding they give out is from the National Lottery and this is where it gets a bit odd because that’s not Government money. They have entertained more than 200 million people and backed more than 900 UK films by giving out Lottery money. So one of their core activities is not to spend Gov money but to spend Lottery money. I am sure that the Government is underwriting the administration of this funding and their other works, but does that really come to that much?
An interesting statistic is that by backing the 900 or so films, they have helped to generate £700m at the box office, worldwide. That’s a lot of money generated and a lot of taxes collected. Strange, isn’t it…?
The Film Council’s chairman, Tim Bevan CBE, said “Abolishing the most successful film support organisation in the UK has ever had is a bad decision… People will rightly look back on today’s announcement and say it was a big mistake.” It’s a true statement – it will be judged as a big mistake and not least because without the UK lead organisation in film, how can we expect for the film industry in this country to flourish? It’s a difficult task to encourage film production here as it is.
Liam Neeson was heard to say that it was ‘deplorable’ and ‘film is a lifeblood for any culture’
I personally believe that the human race is at its best when it is expressing itself through art and film is an art. A cloud has fallen on this country and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see other arts cuts in the not to distant future.var zoomImagesURI = ‘http://www.ismunn.me.uk/files/’;setupZoom();