By Jason Theodorou
Film-makers are up in arms after the Government announced plans to disband the UK Film Council, the body which supports the UK film industry. Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt argued that the organisation needed to be culled to ensure 'greater value for money'.
Film-maker Mike Leigh argued that the axing of the Film Council was 'very shocking indeed' and said that it had come from 'left of field in a very sudden and devastating way'. He said that it was difficult to know what would be salvaged from the Film Council when it is disbanded. He said for the film industry the announcement was akin to the Government saying they planned to 'abolish the NHS'.
Armando Iannucci, a key figure in UK comedy and creator of political satire In The Loop voiced his disapproval on Twitter. He said: 'Am away, but hearing of end of UKFilmCouncil. Mad move by macho numbercrunchers. It made UK a gargantuan load of money. They're wangpots'.
The UK Film Council was created in 2000, and has invested over £160 million of Lottery funding into over 900 films including Bend It Like Beckham, The Last King of Scotland and The Constant Gardener. The Film Council receives around £25.5 million in Government funding.
The Culture Secretary argued that the axing of the Film Council would allow a more 'direct' relationship between Government and the British Film Institute, and that Government support for the UK film industry would continue through other channels.