Priorities shuffled

U.K. council cuts pic funds, aids institute

LONDON — The U.K. Film Council has cut its production and development budget for the next three years but boosted funding for the British Film Institute.

Org is planning to shrink its Premiere Fund, which backs movies intended for wide audiences, from £10 million ($16.6 million) a year to $13.3 million. The Development Fund will be cut from $8.3 million a year to $6.6 million. But the New Cinema Fund, which backs emerging talent and experimental filmmaking, will continue at $8.3 million annually.

The British Film Institute, responsible for film education, culture and archives, gets its first increase in three years, with its annual grant raised by $2.5 million to $26.6 million.

These funding priorities were revealed Wednesdayin the Film Council’s consultation document “Three Years On.” Report looks back at what the org has achieved since it was set up in 2000 and lays out its objectives from 2004 to 2007.

Org had signaled its intent to shift resources from production to training and distribution. Its overall budget will remain static, with a decline in its lottery revenues offset by better-than-predicted recoupment from its production investments.

While the Premiere Fund’s budget will decline, it is planning to raise matching private equity via an enterprise investment scheme, giving it greater financial clout.

To date, the Premiere Fund has awarded $41.5 million to 32 projects, the Development Fund has committed $14.9 million to 235 projects, and the New Cinema Fund has backed 211 features and shorts with $19.9 million.

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