Panel to examine production, distribution, exhibition

Eight Brit industryites, including “Gosford Park” scribe Julian Fellowes and Film4 topper Tessa Ross, will take part in the government’s review of film policy.

Others bizzers on the panel, led by former culture secretary Chris Smith, are Sony Pictures Entertainment chair and CEO Michael Lynton; former Optimum Releasing topper Will Clarke; producer and m.d. of Big Talk Prods. Matthew Justice; Vue Entertainment chief exec Tim Richards; producer and chair of the British Film Commission advisory board Iain Smith; and Libby Savill, head of film and television at Olswang.

The panel will examine film development, production, distribution, exhibition and inward investment in Blighty and is expected to report back by the end of the year.

Culture minister Ed Vaizey said it had been an excellent year for British film but noted that the success masked the underlying problems faced by the industry. “British filmmaking is still not as profitable as it should be for British filmmakers and there remain significant challenges in getting productions off the ground,” he said. “Though many issues are rightly for the industry to resolve, the government can play a big part in helping make things better.”

Smith added: “We want to hear from the industry, from filmmakers, from experts, from audiences and from all who have a contribution to make to the debate. Getting the right framework of policy in place for supporting British film is the challenge we are aiming to address.”

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