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British Film Week proposed by Lord Smith

The Inbetweeners

Story by Jack Foley

A BRITISH Film Week to help capitalise on “a golden period” of UK cinema is among proposals being put forward by Lord Smith as part of his review of the UK film industry.

The report, which follows comments made by Prime Minister David Cameron last week about the need for the UK to support “commercially successful films”, praised British films for the way in which they had been “taking audiences around the world by storm”.

But it added that “we cannot be complacent”. There were, it said, a number of things that the government, the British Film Institute (BFI) and the industry could do “to ensure that we continue to build on recent successes”.

It then put forward 56 recommendations to help achieve this, including the film week, as well as screenings in village halls and an anti-piracy push to help combat a problem that has hit the global filmmaking industry.

The review, chaired by former Labour minister Lord Smith, was commissioned by the government to explore ways to offer greater support to UK film-makers.

It follows last year’s abolition of the UK Film Council and subsequent decision to pass on funding responsibilities to the BFI.

Pointing to how filmmaking can play its part in helping to revive the British economy, while capitalising on its current succes, Lord Smith stated: “British film is in prime position to make a major contribution to the growth of the UK’s economy, to the development of attractive and fulfilling careers for young people and to the creation of job opportunities across the country.”

Hence, new British Film Week could be an annual celebration “to re-establish the brand of the British film”.

While the BFI should work closely on the event to “provide audiences across the UK with access to the full spectrum of British film, giving them a greater insight into its breadth, depth and originality”.

The BFI has already issued a statement welcoming the proposals which, it said, “rightly places audiences at the heart of future UK film policy”.

British-made box office successes last year included the final Harry Potter movie and The Inbetweeners, the latter of which earned more than £45m last year.