BFI Chief Outraged At Govt. Over Funding

The growing antagonism between film folk and the British government escalated last week when the Dept. of Trade & Industry revealed plans to use part of a promised £5 million ($9.9 million) co-production fund to pay for Britain’s entry into the European Community-sponsored Eurimages project.

Eurimages, launched in 1988, provides subsidies and low-cost loans for the production and distribution of European films.

Revelation, greeted with incredulity by industryites, came in a London Times interview with British Film Institute director Wilf Stevenson. BFI is the government-funded organization that aims to foster film and tv arts in the U.K.

Stevenson considers the plan a betrayal of the commitment made when the co-production fund was promised in June. Fund, to be administered by the private and state-funded investment company British Screen Finance, was promised by former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Money was to be used solely for co-productions with European partners.

Proper use

Government spokesmen admit they have canvassed for opinion on a proposal to use part of the money – £1 million in the first year and £2 million in the second – to fund part of Britain’s contribution to Eurimages. Spokesman said that since Eurimages is devoted to encouraging co-production in Europe it could be considered a proper use of co-production coin.

Stevenson argues that if the government wants to join Eurimages, as he thinks it should, new money should be found for the purpose. The co-production fund, he says, was billed as a three year, no-strings-attached contribution to the Brit film biz.

More Scene

  • Ryan Murphy Pose

    Ryan Murphy on 'Showrunning as Advocacy' and the Post-Me Too 'Age of Enlightenment'

    The growing antagonism between film folk and the British government escalated last week when the Dept. of Trade & Industry revealed plans to use part of a promised £5 million ($9.9 million) co-production fund to pay for Britain’s entry into the European Community-sponsored Eurimages project. Eurimages, launched in 1988, provides subsidies and low-cost loans for […]

  • 'The Sinner' film premiere

    Jessica Biel Closes Her Kid-Friendly Au Fudge Restaurant

    The growing antagonism between film folk and the British government escalated last week when the Dept. of Trade & Industry revealed plans to use part of a promised £5 million ($9.9 million) co-production fund to pay for Britain’s entry into the European Community-sponsored Eurimages project. Eurimages, launched in 1988, provides subsidies and low-cost loans for […]

  • Comedy Converstion with L to R:

    Just for Laughs Festival Honors Tiffany Haddish, Hannah Gadsby, More

    The growing antagonism between film folk and the British government escalated last week when the Dept. of Trade & Industry revealed plans to use part of a promised £5 million ($9.9 million) co-production fund to pay for Britain’s entry into the European Community-sponsored Eurimages project. Eurimages, launched in 1988, provides subsidies and low-cost loans for […]

  • Paul Krassner Memoir Illustration

    Paul Krassner on Resisting With Humor

    The growing antagonism between film folk and the British government escalated last week when the Dept. of Trade & Industry revealed plans to use part of a promised £5 million ($9.9 million) co-production fund to pay for Britain’s entry into the European Community-sponsored Eurimages project. Eurimages, launched in 1988, provides subsidies and low-cost loans for […]

  • Just for Laughs Festival Montreal

    Just for Laughs Festival Is the Coachella of Comedy

    The growing antagonism between film folk and the British government escalated last week when the Dept. of Trade & Industry revealed plans to use part of a promised £5 million ($9.9 million) co-production fund to pay for Britain’s entry into the European Community-sponsored Eurimages project. Eurimages, launched in 1988, provides subsidies and low-cost loans for […]

  • National Comedy Center Set To Open

    National Comedy Center Set To Open During Lucille Ball Fest

    The growing antagonism between film folk and the British government escalated last week when the Dept. of Trade & Industry revealed plans to use part of a promised £5 million ($9.9 million) co-production fund to pay for Britain’s entry into the European Community-sponsored Eurimages project. Eurimages, launched in 1988, provides subsidies and low-cost loans for […]

  • Carter Hudson, John Singleton, Angela LewisFX's

    John Singleton on Disney-Fox Deal: 'You Gotta Let FX Be What It Is'

    The growing antagonism between film folk and the British government escalated last week when the Dept. of Trade & Industry revealed plans to use part of a promised £5 million ($9.9 million) co-production fund to pay for Britain’s entry into the European Community-sponsored Eurimages project. Eurimages, launched in 1988, provides subsidies and low-cost loans for […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content