[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 July, 2005, 16:47 GMT 17:47 UK
Winstone on attack over UK film
Ray Winstone
Winstone has starred in a number of British films
Actor Ray Winstone has accused the government of damaging the film industry in the UK.

The 48-year-old Sexy Beast star said a decision to close tax loopholes on British-made films in 2004 had a disastrous effect on the industry.

He said he wanted to shoot his latest film - an adaptation of Sweeney Todd - in London, but it was too expensive.

"It actually starts to dishearten you, it breaks your heart a little bit," Winstone said.

Thanks to the government we have to make films in other countries
Ray Winstone

He added that the film was shot in Romania, despite the fact it is set in London.

"It's about London and I want to make it here, but it would cost two or three times more to make it here. The money comes out of the country and goes somewhere else.

Winstone made his comments at the launch of ITV's new autumn season on Wednesday.

He will star alongside former Coronation Street actress Suranne Jones, in Vincent, a private detective series.

'Losing revenue'

Winstone added: "Our TV is the best in the world but thanks to the government we have to make films in other countries.

"It seems that when a man who wants to make lots of money finds a tax loophole to make films, the government doesn't like that.

"Each time a film doesn't get made, 400-500 people are out of work - people who pay their taxes.

"These are people from the office and administration staff right up to the director.

"If you're making five or six or seven films a year, that's a lot of people who are paying their taxes, so the government is losing revenue. I don't see the logic in that."

A Treasury spokesperson said: "UK film reliefs are very generous and they are only one factor in a decision whether to locate in the UK - the UK film industry is internationally renowned for its world class skills and infrastructure.

"Our action was taken to stop the film reliefs being abused. Had the Government not acted in this way the cost of providing the reliefs would have been untenable.

"The current reliefs will remain in place until 31 March 2006 at least and that there will be formal consultation on the replacement reliefs - there will be no gap in relief."

Pinewood warns of 'hard times'
20 Jun 05 |  Business
Producer says UK film in 'crisis'
09 May 05 |  Entertainment
UK film industry focuses on future
12 Aug 04 |  Business
Lords critical of film tax crisis
04 Mar 04 |  Entertainment
Malkovich 'fears for UK films'
01 Mar 04 |  Entertainment
Q&A: UK film tax crisis
23 Feb 04 |  Entertainment


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific