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Record levels of production for UK film industry



Story by: Jack Foley

DESPITE the absence of James Bond or Harry Potter last year, the UK film industry boasted record levels of production last year, according to newly-released figures from the UK Film Council.

Cinema admissions also reached their second highest level in 30 years, with an estimated £742m having been taken at the UK Box Office from films such as Love Actually and Calendar Girls.

The impressive Box Office tally, which echoes rises in America, marks an increase of 136 per cent on the previous decade, with one in four people now believed to be attending the cinema once a month.

The top 10 British films took more than one billion dollars at the US box office in 2003, despite the absence of Potter or 007 - and the rise is expected to continue this year, given the presence of The Prisoner of Azkaban.

And despite initial projects that film funding in the UK would dry up when the government closed a tax loophole earlier this year, the film industry appears to be thriving.

According to the figures, a record 57,000 people are now employed by the film and video industries, which marks an increase of 77 per cent from the past decade.

Comments John Woodward, chief executive of the UK Film Council: "The UK continues to be recognised by international film-makers as one of the best places in the world to make a film, thanks to our expertise and film-friendly environment."

Once more, industry analysts are predicting year-on-year growth, particularly since some of next year’s biggest movies - including Batman Begins, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Pride and Prejudice - are currently being filmed, or about to be filmed, in Britain.

The UK Film Council is the government-backed body charged with promoting the British film industry

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