Parker chairs Film Council

$230 mil raised to fund British umbrella group

LONDON — Veteran British helmer Alan Parker has been named chairman of the U.K.’s new Film Council.

The panel, which will come into operation in April, will unite the U.K.’s various film agencies under a single umbrella.

It will take charge of most government funding for the movie industry, with more than $230 million in public money and lottery coin to spend in its first three years.

Parker has been chairman of the British Film Institute for the past 18 months, but will now step down and will be replaced by deputy chair Joan Bakewell.

The BFI will come under the new council, along with the British Film Commission and British Screen Finance, among other bodies.

Parker commented, “For the first time there is an opportunity to review the entire government-backed film-funding program. Where necessary, the Film Council will make changes in order to create a coherent strategy for production, distribution, inward investment and education.”

Chris Smith, culture secretary, said, “Alan’s wealth of experience and many achievements show he is the right person to lead the Film Council in its job of helping the U.K. film industry build on its many strengths and go on to further successes in the future.”

The post of Film Council chairman is unpaid and part time.

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