From the TUC

Cuts Watch #209: UK Film Council (again)

18 Aug 2010, by in Cuts Watch

Senior management at the UK Film Council have been summonsed to a meeting with Ed Vaizey, where they will be told off for lobbying too effectively against their abolition. According to the Independent, Mr Vaizey wrote to John Woodward, the UKFC Chief Executive:

“It looks as though sources at the Film Council have been overzealously briefing in order to protect their interests. As a result they may be damaging the film industry that they purport to represent. This is completely wrong and I will be seeking urgent reassurances that the Film Council will promote the interests of the film industry rather than its own from now on.”

According to Variety, the Council is responding with a nice line in implied defiance:

“We will continue to do everything we can to reassure people that any change to us will not affect the U.K.’s film offer to the world. Understandably, however, there has been enormous concern about the future of the British film industry since the government decided to abolish its film agency. In the past three weeks, the UKFC has been contacted by hundreds of organizations and individuals seeking assurances and expressing their concerns about the future and other related matters.”

The BBC reports that their spokesperson added, in the best Ealing tradition:

“We will continue to be as positive as possible under the circumstances.”

3 Responses to Cuts Watch #209: UK Film Council (again)

  1. Tweets that mention Cuts Watch #209: UK Film Council (again) | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC —
    Aug 18th 2010, 9:35 am

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Steve Mullins and ToUChstone blog, WestMonster. WestMonster said: this govt really doesn't like the film council RT @touchstoneblog: Cuts Watch #209: UK Film Council (again) […]

  2. david Winter
    Aug 21st 2010, 7:50 am

    UK Film Council Caught Red-Handed
    Lobbying Against Government

    Yesterday the luvvies at the UK Film Council quango were summoned by Ed Vaizey to answer claims they had misused resources to promote their own survival rather than the interests of the British movie industry. The suspicion at the DCMS is that they were running a scaremongering spin operation drawing in the likes of Clint Eastwood and billionaire film producer Steven Spielberg to write publicly demanding the British taxpayer subsidises their movies.
    A UK Film Council spin-doctor yesterday denied the allegations, piously intoning that: “The future of the UK film industry is the only thing the UK Film Council is interested in.” Unfortunately PR Week had already gone to press before Vaizey had voiced his suspicion that the luvvies were using public resources to promote their own interests, rather than those of the film industry. In PR Week Oliver Rawlins, the film quango’s head spinner boasted that he had
    “been handling a comms strategy relying on third-party advocacy… We’ve ensured that the message has been simple, clear and consistent: this is a terrible decision that disregards the commercial benefits of the UK Film Council…”
    Which rather undermines the quango’s subsequent claim that they weren’t spinning to save their own necks…

  3. Cuts Watch #270: Arts Funding | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC
    Oct 2nd 2010, 7:35 pm

    […] leading cultural organisations wrote to the Prime Minister and leading figures in film have been outspoken in defending the UK Film Council. The Writers’ Guild, BECTU, Equity and the Musicians’ Union are […]