The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) plan to abolish the UK Film Council and the news has caused outrage across the UK film industry with the likes of Mike Leigh, Liam Neeson and its Chairman, Tim Bevan CBE, all speaking out regarding the decision.
Bevan called the decision, “imposed without any consultation or evaluation,” while Neeson called the government’s decision to axe the UK Film Council as “deplorable”.
The government announced on Monday that it is to abolish the Council as part of a cost-cutting drive by the DCMS. The Film Council was set up by the Labour government to develop and promote the British film industry. Funded by the National Lottery, it channelled around £160m into more than 900 films over the last 10 years, including Bend It Like Beckham, The Last King of Scotland and this year’s hit, Streetdance 3D.
Online petitions have been set up to hopefully save the Council and work in the same vain as the Save 6 Music campaigns. The online petition now has nearly 10,500 members and a Facebook group called Save the UK Film Council has also been created, which currently has almost 17,000 supporters – with 10,000 supporters apparently signing up within the first 24 hours.
The page’s description reads: “Join this group and pass on the message to show Mr Hunt that stripping away potential for our future film-makers is a huge mistake for one of the world’s most creative countries.”
Without the UK Film Council the UK film industry loses a huge amount of support and funding and the cull of such an important institution throws greater strain on young talent as well as writers, directors and ‘budding filmmakers’.