Nighy leads charge against UK film cuts

By Ian Dunt

Some of Britain’s most prominent and respected actors took on the government today, in a desperate bid to save the UK Film Council.

In a letter to the Daily Telegraph Bill Nighy, Pete Postlethwaite and Timothy Spall, among over 50 others, urged culture secretary Jeremy Hunt to think again before pushing ahead with the closure.

“We all owe any success we have had in our acting careers, to varying degrees, to films supported by the UK Film Council.

“Everyone, including those in the film industry, knows that times are tough and the government has to make savings.

“But the UKFC doesn’t waste money, it makes it. For every pound it invests, the country gets £5 back.”

Mr Hunt announced the planned closure last month, but industry figures insist the Council brings in far more money than it costs.

British film success stories, including Bend It Like Beckham and In The Loop, have been attributed to the role of the council, which is said to contribute at least £4.5 billion to the UK.

Supporters say its overall contribution would include increased tourism from foreign audiences seeing British movies.

Sir Ian Holm, Sophie Okonedo and Emily Blunt also signed the letter.