Belfast Telegraph

Why Liam’s right to fume over abolition of the UK Film Council

By Jane Graham

Actor Liam Neeson didn’t mince his words when asked at the A-Team premiere what he thought of the abolition of the UK Film Council this week.

“It’s deplorable,” he said, adding, with Ballymena menace, “We have to do something about it.” Deplorable is exactly the right word for this act of violence against the Film Council, which has a meagre annual budget of £15m (it would be exaggerating to call that a drop in the government deficit ocean) yet has helped numerous films get off the ground, and others, such as the lauded An Education and A Prophet, to be distributed properly outside of London.

In Northern Ireland last year, the film industry generated a whopping £22m of investment but if the anti-arts bias of the new government continues, that could seriously dwindle.

Culture minister Jeremy Hunt is already living up to a nickname I couldn’t possibly repeat in this family newspaper.

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