UK government accuse Film Council of spending public money to save itself

UK Arts Minister Ed Vaizey has inquired if the Film Council spent public money on a campaign.

The body is facing the axe under spending cuts planned by the new British government – however, Hollywood actors, including Clint Eastwood, who wrote to express his opposition to the move, have voiced their support for the UKFC.

Vaizey has suggested that the body may have gone too far in orchestrating a campaign to save itself.

“It looks as though sources at the Film Council have been overzealously briefing in order to protect their interests. As a result they may be damaging the film industry that they purport to represent,” he wrote.

“This is completely wrong and I will be seeking urgent reassurances that the Film Council will promote the interests of the film industry rather than its own from now on.”

Other Hollywood heavyweights to protest against the closure of the Film Council include Dreamworks’ Steven Molen and British actors James McAvoy and Bill Nighy.

In response to Vaizey‘s accusations, the Film Council issued a statement declaring: “The future of the UK film industry is the only thing the UK Film Council is interested in. We will continue to do everything we can to reassure people that any change to us will not affect the UK’s film offer to the world.

“In the past three weeks, the UKFC has been contacted by hundreds of organisations and individuals seeking assurances and expressing their concerns about future funding and other related matters. We will continue to be as positive as possible under the circumstances.”