It’s sad news, but unfortunately it’s true. The new government have decided that it’s time for more cuts, and one of them comes in the form of losing the UK Film Council.
Responsible for the rise of directors like Noel Clarke (Kidulthood, Adulthood, 220.127.116.11.), the UK Film Council was established in 2000, and used National Lottery funds to help indie filmmakers in the UK get a start in the industry.
Admittedly they’ve not been responsible for some of the best films ever, Dorian Gray, St. Trinian’s and How to Lose Friends and Alienate People to name but a few. But supporting the film industry in the UK and providing tax-breaks was important, so now finding new upcoming talent will be a lot harder.
I feel I should also mention some of the Film Council films adored by critics, such as Fish Tank, In the Loop the film adaptation of The Thick of It, and Nowhere Boy. It’s not a film journalist’s place to get too heavily into politics, but guys, what were you thinking?!
Hopefully we’ll see an organisation step up to the plate, but nothing will match the government-funded organisation that was the UKFC. It’s a huge blow for film fans and upcoming indie writers, directors and production staff in the UK and has been heavily criticised by the press. I’ve seen pity from American film fans, as – let’s face it – the good humour comes from our end of the ocean, right?
For those sharpening pitchforks and lighting torches, here’s the explanation from one Jeremy Hunt, Culture secretary (but for how long, now?):
”In the light of the current financial situation, and as part of our drive to increase openness and efficiency across Whitehall, it is the right time to look again at the role, size and scope of these organisations,” said Hunt.
Angry? Upset? Leave your thoughts here. It’s a dark day for the arts in the UK.