(22/10/08) – Mayor of London Boris Johnson today held his first meeting with prominent figures from the film, television and production industries during a film summit hosted in the City Hall. Filmmaker Michael Winterbottom (The Road to Guantanamo) and producer Tim Bevan (Four Weddings and a Funeral) were present at the discussion, besides several other industry representatives.
Outlining his commitment to supporting film in London, the Mayor announced a new set of priorities for Film London, the capital’s film and media agency, including new legislation to make it easier to film around the capital and greater investment in developing grassroots film-making talent. He also revealed plans for the London Film Day, a new campaign to provide all Londoners with more opportunities to enjoy film.
Since Film London was launched in 2004, there has been a 40% increase in filming in the capital. Currently, 100,000 people are employed by the film industry in London. "The film industry has simultaneously brought the world to London and put London on the world map. Few cities can compete as an iconic backdrop, and it’s no surprise that our capital has become on of the top production centres in the world. My job is to help keep it that way and I’m determined that this film summit will signal the start of a highly productive relationship with a sector that has brought income, jobs, and a lot of pleasure to London", said Mr Johnson.
The Mayor also welcomed new powers in the London Local Authorities and Transport Act 2008, which helps minimising traffic disruption during shoots and pledged to double the funding for the London Borough Film Fund Challenge to Â£100,000, an initiative that aims at increasing grassroots film-making opportunities across London. He is also backing Film London’s London Film Day, a one-day celebration dedicated to film to increase participation and access to film events.