Film London woos prod’n for capital

New initiative to make filming easier

LONDON — Film London, a strategic body to promote filmmaking in the U.K. capital, was launched Thursday with the support of leading producers and London Mayor Ken Livingstone.

Film London chief exec Adrian Wootton unveiled initiatives to attract productions to the city and boost its cinema culture.

These include a task force headed by filmmaker David Puttnam to examine strategic issues and a new partnership with the city’s fragmented authorities to remove bureaucratic obstacles to shooting in the city.

There also will be a fund to finance ultra-low-budget movies and an extra $180,000 for the London Film Festival to improve facilities for international execs attending the event.

“It’s been a nightmare trying to make films in London,” Livingstone admitted. “New York did this decades ago, and we’re running to catch up.”

“The Filming London Partnership addresses the perception that the production process in London can sometimes be difficult,” Wootton commented. “It will ensure long-term improvements in the sector, as well as economic and cultural benefits for Londoners.”

Bob Hoskins and Bill Nighy were among the stars who showed up to the launch event at the swanky Gibson Hall in the heart of London, along with producers including Working Title’s Eric Fellner and Recorded Picture Co.’s Jeremy Thomas.

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