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Friday, 19 November, 1999, 21:54 GMT
Boost for British film industry
The Full Monty: The most successful British film ever

Star Wars creator George Lucas and Titanic producer Jon Landau are backing a new hi-tech government drive to help boost the British film industry.

Films Minister Janet Anderson is unveiling a digital versatile disc (DVD) in Hollywood to promote the UK movie industry.

It means Hollywood moguls only need to click a mouse for a wealth of information about using the UK as a production base.

George Lucas: Backed Britain for Episode I, then went down under
It includes testimonies from Lucas and Landau, a foreword from Prime Minister Tony Blair, and other comments from 100 film professionals including Lord Attenborough and director of The English Patient, Anthony Minghella.

While the UK's film industry is becoming increasingly important to the economy, and its production facilities are acknowledged to be among the best in the world, there is strong competition to attract the world's biggest film-makers.

George Lucas created Star Wars - Episode I: The Phantom Menace in the UK, but his next two Star Wars films will be made in Australia.

Ms Anderson said: "The industry is worth more than 900m a year and employs more than 33,000 people. We are very often at the cutting edge here, particularly with special effects.

Janet Anderson: Wants a partnership with Hollywood
"We have skilled film crews, excellent post-production facilities, and locations that are second to none. We also offer very competitive tax breaks. It is a complete package.

"Now if anyone needs to find out anything about special effects or studio space, they can home in straight away."

The DVD contains details of 700 organisations involved in film-making, and links to their websites.

Ms Anderson added she wanted to "forge a partnership with Hollywood" and was meeting all the major studios to promote British film-making.

"Hollywood is always going to be first in the movie world, but we think we could be a pretty good second," she said.

Investment from other countries in the UK film industry rose from just under 100m in 1992 to 425m in 1998 - and the number of films made rose from 30 to 91, peaking at 105 in 1997.

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See also:
27 Aug 99 |  Entertainment
'British film' rules changed
04 Aug 99 |  Entertainment
Evita director heads film council

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