Update–UK Film Council’s Elimination Controversy

Last weeks story: New pilot scheme launched to open up digital cinema to rural North Yorkshire, shows how important the Film Council has been for getting digital cinema started and the focus maintained on the non-blockbuster sites. 

Mr. Hunt slammed the management for each making over 100,000 pounds. Easy pickings for a publicity fight in a recession. On the other hand, Mr. Hunt didn’t explain how much money the Film Council was handling each year, what it takes to find the talent to be responsible for that type of operation, and what it takes to get people who can work with high powered producers, directors, studio personnel, etc.

The Film Council began just 10 years ago, and not just for capitalizing several hundred digital cinema systems in the UK; for a summation on its history see: Skillset: The Role of the UK Film Council 

[Update]: Other interesting news: an entity set up (via the aegis of the UK Cinema Exhibitors’ Association) to assist small and medium-sized UK cinemas, now the independent group named The Digital Funding Group LLP, has appointment of Sir Hayden Phillips as its Chairman. The full announcement is in a pdf at the end of this article. 


The article doesn’t mention Mr. Hunt’s salary or whether he offered to lower it and his staff costs to assist in the effort.


Christopher Hampton, most famous for the screenplays of Dangerous Liaisons and Atonement, made the lede quote, and described Hunt’s the decision as a “thrashy response”. He said he knew of films that would never have been made without the council, according to the Guardian article.

The word “quango” is used. Its definition is: noun ( pl. -gos) Brit., chiefly derogatory — a semipublic administrative body outside the civil service but with financial support from and senior appointments made by the government. (ORIGIN 1970s (originally U.S.): acronym from quasi (or quasi-autonomous) nongovernment(al) organization.)

There is an interesting set of slides that show 24 films that we financed (or partly financed) by the Film Council at:
UK Film Council axed – but how much did it fund films? 

Film-maker Ronan Bennett writes a great piece on the issues involved from his experience at:
Axing the Film Council: a move that impoverishes us all 

Leave a Reply