Livingstone pledges more funding for film festival

London Mayor Ken Livingstone has pledged to work with the London Development Agency to provide extra funding for The Times bfi London Film Festival, now in its 47th year.

The new funding, to begin in 2004, will be channelled through Film London, which provides dedicated support, promotion and development for the film industry in the capital.

Mr Livingstone said: "Film is a key contributor to the economy, generating around £700 million each year, with 85% of film production based in the capital and 70% of the workforce in London and the South East. Film in London must be able to thrive as a cultural asset and key creative industry.

"I am working with the London Development Agency, Film London and the British Film Institute to help the London Film Festival develop its international reputation and to ensure that the capital's film industry continues to grow."

This weekend, the Mayor will also host the British Gala screening of Roger Michell's new film 'The Mother', which received support from Film London and was shot and produced in the capital.

Mr Livingstone added: "The Times bfi London Film Festival has an unrivalled reputation for bringing inspirational cinema from around the world to the capital and I am delighted to be supporting it for the third year running.

"The British Gala is a particularly important way to celebrate the wealth of talent we have here. This year's British Gala film, The Mother, is a great example of a film produced and shot on location in London and directly assisted by Film London, which has been established to help our film industry grow and to promote London as a filmmaking capital."


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