Film Council defends lottery funding

A spokesperson at the Film Council told that KPMG was satisfied with the performance of the franchises – Civilian Content, Pathe Productions and DNA – after it conducted a scheduled mid-term review as part of its contract with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

‘The review was all-encompassing including a complete analysis of each franchise structure and spending. KPMG was satisfied with the franchises’ performance and the review was passed by the Film Council,’ the spokesperson said.

A recent report in the Evening Standard slammed the franchises for wasting public money on box office flops. Only one film – An Ideal Husband it claimed – made its money back at the UK box office and hinted that lottery money earmarked for the three franchises could be better spent elsewhere.

Responding to this criticism, the spokesperson said UK box office figures were not a fair way to represent how much money a film recouped, adding ‘they do not take into account things such as worldwide box office sales and other factors like video and DVD sales and rentals’.

The spokesperson defended the decision to renew the contracts with the three franchises: ‘The Film Council has adopted a different way of spending money than that of the Arts Council, which predominantly spent money on film production. The Film Council funds film production as well as training, nurturing and promoting new talent.

The organisations’s ultimate aim is to have a film industry that can operate self-sufficiently without the need for government subsidy.

The three film franchises are to continue receiving lottery funding for film projects until 2002 after which funding will cease. No more film franchises were scheduled to be created using Lottery funding.

As to the future of the franchises post-2002, nothing has yet been determined but the Film Council hopes they will continue to operate independently.


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