UK film future set for discussion

Gemma Arterton in Tamara Drewe Gemma Arterton's movie Tamara Drewe was funded by the UK Film Council

Future public funding of UK film will be discussed by Culture Minister Ed Vaizey and key figures in the movie business later.

The Government is expected to plough more National Lottery cash into film, despite announcing the abolition of the UK Film Council by 2012.

In July, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said the organisation would be axed to save money.

Mr Vaizey said he wants a "robust" strategy to keep UK filmmaking thriving.

Among the figures attending the meeting are representatives of the British Film Institute, the Arts Council, the BBC and Pinewood and Shepperton Studios.

Mr Vaizey said this meeting will be one of many that will take place before a final decision on future government support will be made later this autumn.

In a statement, he said: "There is no question that public support for film is continuing."

He suggested that lottery funding will increase from next year and the film tax credit will remain in place.

"I want a robust and coordinated strategy to promote the UK as the best place to invest in film making and to provide real support and advice to film makers and investors alike," he said.

"I want to make sure that public funds generate value for a wider audience and are focused where they can really make a difference."

Funded by the National Lottery, the UK Film Council has invested about £160m into more than 900 films over the last 10 years, including box office successes like Bend It Like Beckham and Streetdance 3D.

Since the announcement was made to abolish the organisation, which employs 75 people, dozens of leading film-makers, including Mike Leigh, Clint Eastwood and Bill Nighy have written to the government protesting the decision.

On Monday, the head of the organisation - John Woodward - announced he was resigning.

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