The UK government’s agency to support and nurture homegrown film talent is set to be abolished, says a proposal by government culture secretary Jeremy Hunt. The ‘Review of Arms Length Bodies’ proposes to end the UK Film Council and establish a more direct and less bureaucratic relationship between the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the British Film Institute. Chairman and CBE of the UK Film Council, Tim Bevan, responded to the proposal saying: ‘Abolishing the most successful film support organization the UK has ever had is a bad decision, imposed without any consultation or evaluation.’ Since the council was formed in 2000 it has invested over £160m into over 900 films, which include docs such as Touching the Void and Man on Wire.’Our immediate priority now is to press the Government to confirm that the funding levels and core functions that are needed to underpin British film are locked-in, especially at a time when filmmakers and film companies need more support than ever as they make the challenging transition into the digital age. To that end, we will work with the DCMS over the summer to identify how they can guarantee both continuity and safe harbor for British film,’ says Bevan.
- Hot Docs ’17