Headline Pictures Ltd.

London office :
Headline Pictures Limited
Bentinck House
3-8 Bolsover Street

Tel.: +44(0)203 950 7640

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Newcastle upon Tyne

Tel.: +44(0)191 261 8808


London takes a starring role in boom for UK movie-makers - On location: Dustin Hoffman directs Dame Maggie Smith for Quartet in west London.

London is at the centre of a boom for British film with nine major movies in production.

Industry experts say film-making in the capital is healthier than ever, with studios heaving, casting agencies busy and some film companies having to find alternative locations because London is so full.

And contrary to fears that the industry would suffer because of public spending cutbacks, the Government announced yesterday that film tax relief is being extended for the next four years.

Six films are being shot in the capital, bringing in millions of pounds of revenue. They are the Bond movie Skyfall starring Daniel Craig; Snow White And The Huntsman with Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron; Anna Karenina with Keira Knightley, World War Z starring Brad Pitt, Quartet with Dame Maggie Smith, and Great Expectations, starring Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter.

Three more titles - Wrath Of The Titans, Dark Shadows and 47 Ronin - are in post-production here. London is the third busiest production city in the world, after New York and Los Angeles, with an average 35 crews on the streets every day.

Adrian Wootton, chief executive of Film London, said it was not only good news for the industry, but also the city's economy, tourism industry and jobs market.

He added: "Film London has worked hard to ensure film-makers across the world know that London can, and does, deliver for projects big and small. London has a great wealth of amazing locations, some of the world's best talent and facilities and a commitment from over 250 organisations, agencies and boroughs to welcome filming.

"This is why Hollywood A-listers such as Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz and Daniel Craig have recently been shooting here." The move on tax relief was welcomed by Lord Grade of Yarmouth, chairman of Pinewood Shepperton plc, as one that would "deliver certainty" for UK film-makers and "provide the platform for growth, investment and jobs".

Spending on UK film production hit a record £1.1billion last year, with 75 per cent focused on London and the South-East. Revenue was also generated from associated spending and tourism. Mayor Boris Johnson has praised the industry for generating more than £575million for London in the first six months of this year.

Pinewood Studios - where Snow White And The Huntsman and Skyfall are in production - saw film revenues rise by 68 per cent for the six months to June 30, to £18.2million. Leading agency Mad Dog Casting said business has gone up almost threefold in a year. Head of casting Kate McLaughlin said: "All the studios are jammed and people are being forced to go to other countries to film as it's so busy.".

Read article in EVENING STANDARD

November 11, 2011

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