Earlier this week I found myself more than a little surprised to hear that David Cameron had said that the UK must help “producers to make commercially successful pictures that rival the quality and impact of the best international productions”.
Over a year and a half ago I blogged about my shock that the UK Film Council was one of the many victims of the claimed bonfire of the Quangos the Tories lit in 2010. You can read what I said here.
The UK Film Council was an excellent mechanism in helping to develop the UK film industry. From its launch in 2000, the Film Council helped to fund a long list of fantastic films. This year The King’s Speech, one of the final UKFC funded films, won 4 Oscars and much international critical acclaim.
The Iron Lady film currently garnering much comment is another UK Film Council assisted production.
I am slightly confused then why, if Cameron wants a commercially viable British film industry, he got rid of the Film Council in the first place. With its list of hits including The Last King of Scotland and Bend It Like Beckham the UKFC seemed to be doing the trick.
To me his actions just reconfirm yet again what I said back in 2010 the “Cuts are made rapidly for ideological reasons not with consideration for what is best for the British economy and best for British society”.
The Coalition has been very quiet about the bonfire of the Quangos. In the case of the film industry at least it seems that Mr Cameron didn’t really have a problem with the Quango itself, he just wanted one with his own name on it.