23/04/2004

Blueprint unveiled for film-friendly London

London’s new film and media agency, Film London, has unveiled a variety of measures aimed at making the Capital more film-friendly.

BAFTA winning actor Bill Nighy joined Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, Film London Chief Executive Adrian Wootton, and Eric Fellner of Working Title Films, for the launch of Film London, which has been charged with promoting film and media business and culture in the Capital.

Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London, said: “London is one of the best places in the world to shoot. The Filming London Partnership addresses the perception that the production process in London can sometimes be difficult. The Partnership encapsulates London’s real commitment to welcome film-makers to shoot in the city and to proactively facilitate production activity across the Capital."

He added that Film London was "a significant step in improving the production process in London and will ensure long-term improvements in the sector as well as economic and cultural benefits for Londoners”.

Amongst the initiatives unveiled by Film London, which is backed by the London Development Agency and UK Film Council, were;

  • the Filming London Partnership - a unique London-wide collaboration of boroughs, agencies and film locations;


  • a new film production task force, led by Lord Puttnam;


  • a low budget digital feature film fund to encourage independent film-making in the Capital to be launched in late 2004;


  • an additional £100,000 of funding for The Times bfi London Film Festival to improve facilities for the international industry attending this major film event;


  • a pilot scheme for a London Children’s Film Festival this summer;


  • and the digitisation of Film London’s extensive library of locations images and information, to be available on-line in 2005.


Supporting the initiative, film producer Lord Puttnam said the Filming London Partnership was a "major step forward for the UK's production industry". He said that filming in London has, for too many years, been a "relatively ad hoc process" and described the initiative as "a sensible move towards addressing the problem".

Other measures in the package include support for export initiative London UK Film Focus. In partnership with the UK Film Council and the industry, this initiative will seek to promote new British films to distributors and acquisitions executives from around the world. It was also announced that £70,000 will be allocated to fund nine audience development and film exhibition projects across London.

Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone said: “London must become a more film friendly city to compete with other major film-making cities around the world. Film brings economic benefits, boosts employment and helps attract tourists to the Capital. With so many agencies involved in whether a film gets made in the Capital, it is important to have a strategic agency with both a commercial and cultural role to promote and encourage film."

He said that the London Development Agency would be investing in Film London to help sustain the capital's film-making future.

In London the film and media sector, employs around 100,000 people and generated more than £1.5 billion in 2003. Locations in London have featured in a string of recent productions including '28 Days Later', 'Love Actually' and the BBC’s hit TV series 'Hustle'.

For more information visit: www.filmlondon.org.uk

(SP)

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