Emily Blunt, James McAvoy and Bill Nighy tell government: Don’t scrap UK Film Council

TV, film and theatre stars last night demanded the Tories scrap plans to ditch the UK Film Council.

More than 50 household names including Emily Blunt, James McAvoy and Bill Nighy warned it would not just harm the economy but the “whole British film industry”.

In a joint letter, they wrote that David Cameron’s decision to axe the council as part of his savage costcutting drive threatened a “British success story”.

They said the expertise of camera crews, lighting experts and set builders was the reason so many top Hollywood directors chose to make films here.

And they pointed out the industry made money for Britain, bringing in £5 for every £1 invested.

The letter said: “Everyone knows that times are tough. But the UKFC doesn’t waste money, it makes it. Thanks to its efforts, our film industry, worth £4.5billion a year, has rarely been stronger.”

The Government’s plans have provoked outrage, with 42,000 people signing a Facebook petition.

Since the UKFC was established in 2000, British films have laid claim to 23% of box office takings.

It is responsible for some of the most successful UK hits including In the Loop, Bend it Like Beckham and Gosford Park. Last year it received £63.3million income from the Lottery and grant-in-aid.

Axing it would save just £3million a year.

Source: Mirror UK

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