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Film4 gets 20% budget boost


The UK film production sector got a shot in the arm with Channel 4’s announcement that it has increased the annual budget of its Film4 division by 20%, taking the yearly development and production budget to £10m.

The increase is thanks to the recently passed Digital Economy Act that legally requires Channel 4 to invest in film production. The Act states: “Channel 4 must participate in the making of high quality films intended to be shown to the general public at the cinema in the United Kingdom, and the broadcasting and distribution of such content and films.”

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Channel 4 CEO David Abraham said, “Film4 embodies all that's great about Channel 4's place in our creative culture. For 28 years it has played a distinctive role in the British film industry and we are delighted that this has now been formally acknowledged in the update to Channel 4's remit contained in the Digital Economy Act. Under my watch investment in British film will continue to sit at the heart of Channel 4's public service mission.”

Tessa Ross, controller of Film4 and Channel 4 Drama, said, “Film has always been in the DNA of Channel 4, but this added protection, through the extended remit, comes at a time when this significant part of our British culture is in need of protection. To be able to commit an extra £2 million each year to filmmakers and to work that we care about gives us great hope for the future.”

There are two Film4 backed films at this year’s Cannes – Mike Leigh’s Another Year [+see also:
film review
interview: Mike Leigh
film profile
and Hideo Nakata’s Chatroom.

Forthcoming Film4 projects include Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours, Pawel Pawlikowski’s The Woman in the Fifth and Kevin Macdonald’s The Eagle of the Ninth.

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