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Filming in London shoots up

Rises 42% in three years

LONDON — Filming in London in 2006 rose 9% on the previous year and has rocketed up by 42% in the past three years, according to figures released Monday by Film London.

The 2006 9% uptick is not as marked as the 18% hike for 2006 on 2005 but does rep the third year in a row that filming in the capital has risen.

According to figures compiled by London’s 33 boroughs and collated by Film London, there were a record 13,802 days filming in the English capital last year.

Figures include shooting for film, TV and commercials and are not broken down by sector.

Film London is predicting there is more room for growth in 2007 thanks in part to a government bill set to become law this summer that will make it legal for the first time in the U.K. to close roads for the express purpose of filming.

“London is enjoying an unprecedented boom for filming. The London Filming Partnership, set up to make filming in the capital easier, has enabled films with complex filming requirements such as ’28 Weeks Later,’ ‘Children of Men’ and Bollywood titles ‘Jhoom b arabar j hoom’ and ‘Salaam- e – i shq’ create new interpretations of the city,” said Adrian Wootton, Film London CEO.

“With such acclaimed directors as Anthony Minghella, Alfonso Cuaron, Woody Allen, David Cronenberg, Paul Schrader and Ron Howard all shooting here recently, and the forthcoming ability to close roads for filming, London has truly confirmed its status as an international production center.”

The central London borough of Westminster continues to attract the most film crews — 2,310 days filming took place there in 2006, up slightly on the 2,231 days recorded in 2005. The biggest spike in terms of activity took place in the west London borough of Kensington and Chelsea, which experienced 296 more days filming in 2006 than the previous year. The borough includes the leafy manor of Notting Hill where many notable U.K. film biz heavyweights live.

Films currently shooting in London include Christopher Nolan’s Batman sequel “The Dark Knight,” Oliver Parker and Barnaby Thompson’s “St. Trinian’s,” Neil Marshall’s “Doomsday,” Paul Weiland’s “Made of Honor,” Frances McDormand starrer “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day” and Brit crimer “The Heavy.”

Film London, the capital’s film and media promotional org, is backed by the U.K. Film Council and other backers. Film London launched the London Filming partnership in 2005.

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