Page last updated at 10:23 GMT, Wednesday, 22 October 2008 11:23 UK

Mayor gives film-making support

Filming of a Bollywood movie in Trafalgar Square
Icons places like Trafalgar Square have featured in films

London councils have been given new powers to close roads for up to 24 hours for the making of feature films, mayor Boris Johnson has said.

The new legislation was highlighted as Mr Johnson met some of the UK's leading film-makers at City Hall.

The mayor also gave his backing to a London Film Day, a campaign to provide more opportunities to enjoy movies.

The summit also heard that one in five tourists visited the city after seeing the capital in films.

Mr Johnson met directors Michael Winterbottom, Gurinder Chadha, producers Tim Bevan and Andrew Macdonald, and leading figures from TV production companies.

Since Film London, the agency promoting filming in the city, was launched in 2004, movie-making in the capital has gone up by 40%, generating millions of pounds in revenue for local councils and businesses.

Street closures

The mayor highlighted new powers in the London Local Authorities and Transport Act 2008, which came into effect last month.

The film industry - arguably more than any other - has simultaneously brought the world to London and put London on the world map
Mayor Boris Johnson

It allows a council or Transport for London to impose immediate street closures for filming for up to 24 hours.

Mr Johnson also promised to increase funding for developing grassroots film-making talent by doubling the money for projects, such as the London Borough Film Fund Challenge, to 100,000.

The scheme, which was available in just 15 areas, will now be expanded to all boroughs.

He also backed plans for London Film Day which will have special film screenings and educational events across in the city.

Mr Johnson said: "The film industry - arguably more than any other - has simultaneously brought the world to London and put London on the world map.

"I'm determined that this film summit will signal the start of a highly productive relationship with a sector that has brought income, jobs, and a lot of pleasure to London."


SEE ALSO
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Woody makes his point in London film
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London bid to attract film-makers
16 May 05 |  Entertainment
London 'to become film friendly'
22 Apr 04 |  Entertainment
Poor show for London's cinemas
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