UK government to abolish UK Film Council; lottery funding to continue

Mumbai: The UK’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is planning to abolish the UK Film Council and have a more direct and less bureaucratic relationship with the British Film Institute (BFI). However, government and lottery support for films will continue.

Key activities currently carried out by the UK Film Council will continue, including Lottery funding and work in support of film certification for tax purposes. DCMS will consider options for transferring those responsibilities to other organizations. DCMS will consider how to build a more direct relationship between the BFI and Government.

UK Film Council chairman Tim Bevan said, “British film, which is one of the UK’s more successful growth industries, deserves better. 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.”

The UK Film Council has been the Government’s lead agency for film in the UK, supporting the UK film industry since its creation in 2000. It has invested over £160 million of Lottery funding into more than 900 films, which have generated over £700 million at the box office worldwide.

The UK Film Council has funded such films as Gurinder Chadha’s Bend It Like Beckham, Bright Star, The Constant Gardener and Streetdance 3D, the UK’s first 3D film, amongst many others. Upcoming films backed by the UK Film Council include Lynne Ramsay’s We Need to Talk about Kevin, Justin Chadwick’s The First Grader, Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech, Peter Mullan’s Neds and Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights.