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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 March, 2003, 11:22 GMT
Low-budget films get 1m boost
Talk To Her
Foreign films like Talk To Her may benefit from the extra cash
Low budget film-makers are getting an extra 1m in subsidies in a bid to get more people watching them.

The government-backed Film Council said the annual subsidy will be used to make extra prints of low-budget films.

It said this would encourage more British cinemas to show the films.

Distribution and making copies of films are one of the biggest costs for film-makers.

The high cost of making copies means very few can be in circulation.

Last December more than six out of ten film screens were taken up with only two films - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

The council hopes the extra money will help lessen the domination of major Hollywood films.

Pete Buckingham, head of distribution at the Film Council, said: "Cinema is currently more popular in the UK than at any time in the past 30 years, but there is often only a very limited choice of film available to filmgoers at any one time, especially outside London.

"This initiative will give audiences across the country access to a much wider choice of UK and international films."

The money will also be spent on advertising campaigns for smaller films.

The Film Council says its research shows that the Harry Potter film had over 1,000 prints in circulation.

Even the biggest art house film would only boast 70 copies, while foreign-language films usually have only eight copies.


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