Film London Celebrates 10th Anniversary By Setting Out Broad New Strategy

Left to Right: Riz Ahmed (actor), Julian Fellowes (screenwriter Downton Abbey), Adrian Wootton (Chief Exec, Film London and the British Film Commission), Lisbeth Savill (Deputy Chair, BFI), David Parfitt (Chairman, Film London) and Munira Mirza (Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture)

Left to Right: Riz Ahmed (actor), Julian Fellowes (screenwriter Downton Abbey), Adrian Wootton (Chief Exec, Film London and the British Film Commission), Lisbeth Savill (Deputy Chair, BFI), David Parfitt (Chairman, Film London), Stephen Frears (director, The Queen) and Munira Mirza (Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture) at the Gherkin today.

Film London today set out a raft of new initiatives to boost film and media culture in the capital as it celebrated a decade of activity and the doubling of movies made here since its inception in 2004.

The not-for-profit agency continues to expand its remit beyond film with support for TV and animation and now also “an ambition to make London the computer games capital of the world,” according to Chief Executive Adrian Wootton. This new wider approach — triggered by extended tax breaks — will mean developments across the full range of digital content industries.

Attracting big scale movie productions continues to be at the centre of the strategy with enhanced on-the-ground support for complicated location work. Films shooting now or about to shoot soon include: Mission Impossible 5, Star Wars VII, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Night At The Museum 3, Suffragette, Paddington and the Monty Python film Absolutely Anything.

Meanwhile, £4 million has been earmarked to help nurture home-grown talent with half that money to be spent on a new slate of Microwave films. This highly successful initiative aims to support micro-budget features and has so far produced gems such as Shifty, Ill Manors and the cross-cultural drama Lilting starring Ben Whishaw, which will premier in London this summer. Six further films will now be developed with training opportunities for 36 filmmaking teams.

The remaining funds will be invested in film heritage with a special focus on the under-served 15 outer London boroughs. Dubbed London: A Bigger Picture, this scheme will also involve a call for local people to share home movie records of each region’s past.

Elsewhere, Film Hub London aims to engage young people, while the BFI-backed London Screenings will bring international buyers to London between 23-26 June to view new British films.

On the TV front, after a £37 million total spend on the new series of 24, other high-end US TV dramas are being wooed, the latest of which is Knifeman with Tim Roth made by AMC, the US network behind Mad Men and Breaking Bad.

David Parfitt, Chairman of Film London, said: “London has cemented its reputation as a global production centre, and I am delighted that Film London has been central to that transformation over the last 10 years”.

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