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Wednesday, 27 June, 2001, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK
Regional film gets 6m boost
Full Monty scene
Nuturing regional talent could lead to another Full Monty
The Film Council's plan - announced last November - to boost regional film-making in England has been formally launched.

Dr Kim Howells, the new film minister, was in Cambridge to unveil Regional Investment for Film in England (RIFE) which is intended to nurture British film-making at local level.

Kim Howells
Dr Kim Howells, the new Minister for Tourism, Film and Broadcasting
The scheme will help provide training, education and various film production ventures as well as ensuring facilities for screening such films are available all over England.

Dr Howells hailed the fund as an "excellent example" of cooperation between the Film Council and the regions.

Consultation

"It will ensure that everybody has the opportunity to learn about film or watch a broad range of movies, wherever they live," he said.

RIFE was set up after consultation carried out last year with a national seminar and nine regional seminars.

Screen East has been launched as the first regional agency set up under the initiative and one of the first to receive funding.

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John Woodward, Film Council chief executive, said that Screen East was only the first of "many" such regional partnerships set to be up and running in the coming months.

"Strong regional film agencies are increasingly important to the film industry and invaluable to regional film culture," he said.

The Film Council was set up last year in order to revive the British film industry.

Its chairman, Alan Parker, whose films include The Commitments, Evita and Angela's Ashes, said at the time that they would help film-makers "move away from the cottage industry that we all currently work in".

The Film Council is responsible for all government funding, including lottery money, for film with the exception of the National Film and Television School.

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See also:

07 Mar 01 | Budget 2001
Budget boosts UK film industry
02 May 00 | UK
22m boost for British films
01 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Film Council eyes the box office
04 Aug 99 | Entertainment
Evita director heads film council
20 May 99 | Entertainment
Arts Council defends lottery films
15 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Lottery cash for Bloody Sunday film
12 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Boost for black and Asian film
29 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Regions given 6m film aid
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