Could a big Oscar win save the U.K. Film Council?

Christopher Werth Feb 28, 2011
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Could a big Oscar win save the U.K. Film Council?

Christopher Werth Feb 28, 2011
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TEXT OF STORY

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: At the Oscars last night in Hollywood, “The King’s Speech” took home the Best Picture trophy and three others, including for lead actor Colin Firth. But back home in Britain, before the movie was made, the idea didn’t get a lot of funding bites. And relied, in part, on money from a government program to grow the film industry in the U.K. But as the British government trims spending, that program got put on the chopping block.

Christopher Werth is with us now from London. Good Morning, Christopher.

CHRISTOPHER WERTH: Good morning.

CHIOTAKIS: Are film buffs in the U.K. celebrating today?

WERTH: Yes, they are. This is a film that cost about $13 million, and will most likely go over $300 million at the box office. But at the same the British are mourning the loss of the public body that was brave enough to invest in the movie back when other didn’t want to. Because the budget cuts, the U.K. Film Council will be no more in just another month’s time. I spoke with Angus Finney at the Cass Business School.

ANGUS FINNEY: Frankly, axing the U.K. Film Council which ironically has now coincided with a major hit does make the government look pretty foolish.

CHIOTAKIS: Are there any plans, Christopher, to use the success of the film as a way to get the funding back?

WERTH: Well, the U.K. Film Council could make close to $20 million on its investment. That money will now go to the British Film Institute, which is now responsible for investing in films. But the other irony is, the cost of winding down the Film Council is estimated at about $20 million.

CHIOTAKIS: Christopher Werth, in London. Thanks.

WERTH: Hey thanks Steve.

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