Clint Eastwood joins plea to save UK Film Council

Hollywood legend writes letter to Chancellor George Osborne

Oscar-winning director and actor Clint Eastwood has become the latest heavyweight Hollywood name to speak out against the closure of the UK Film Council.

In an open letter to Chancellor Of The Exchequer, George Osborne, Eastwood revealed that his latest film would have collapsed without the UKFC’s “rigorous support”.

“The UKFC was instrumental in providing us the crucial, detailed information we needed to make our decision to ultimately shoot in the UK,” he wrote. “Without such assistance during the early stages of pre-production, the likelihood of a London shoot would have been greatly diminished.

“We respectfully request careful consideration of our concerns in deciding the fate of the UKFC.”

Last week, over 50 actors including Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt and James McAvoy wrote a letter to the Daily Telegraph protesting the closure of the UKFC.

“We all owe any success we have had in our acting careers, to varying degrees, to films supported by the UK Film Council,” they explained. “Their expertise and experience, which the UKFC has done so much to foster, is the main reason why so many top Hollywood directors choose to make films here in Britain. “We should think long and hard about getting rid of one of the major factors behind a great British success story.”

The council was set up in 2000, and has put more than £160 million of Lottery funding into about 900 films, including Gosford Park and In The Loop.