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Tuesday, 20 February, 2001, 13:28 GMT
Star attraction of Welsh locations
Snowdonia National Park
Stunning scenery is being 'sold' to movie producers
Wales has given the film world Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta Jones and Richard Burton.

But now it is the grandeur of Snowdonia, the stunning beauty of the coastline and an abundance of historical sites that is making Wales the star attraction.

Sean Connery
Sean Connery filmed First Knight in north Wales

Wales is becoming an increasingly popular location for big-budget movies, putting the country on the world stage and ploughing substantial funds into the economy.

"We see the growth of the film and television industries as one way of increasing our wealth, creating employment and tackling the decline of our communities," said Mike German, the National Assembly's Economic Development Minister.

He also suggested that more help could be made available with the setting up of a Welsh Film Fund to support the production of Welsh films.

We see the growth of the film and television industries as one way of increasing our wealth, creating employment and tackling the decline of our communities

Economic Development Mnister Mike German
Mr German was speaking in Llangollen at the launch of the North Wales Film Commission's new guidebook, designed at attracting more film-makers to the area.

As well as home-grown films such as the Oscar-nominated Hedd Wyn, north Wales has played host to a number of well-known films including First Knight (starring Sean Connery), Hilary And Jackie, Merlin and The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill But Came Down A Mountain (starring Hugh Grant).

Recently the fantasy film Dinotopia was shot in the area, involving around 80 local people and pumping around £500,000 into the local economy.

Hugh Grant
Hugh Grant: An Englishman Went Up A Hill...

And in July last year, the booming Indian film industry arrived en masse to shoot scenes for a new film at the Marquess of Anglesey's 18th century estate, Plas Newydd, in Anglesey.

"The film commissions in Wales provide a key service to all film-makers whether they come from Caernarfon or California," said Mr German.

"They can provide an efficient and seamless service - in finding suitable locations, facilities, cast and crew members as well as harnessing substantial investment from outside Wales".

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See also:

26 Jan 01 | Wales
Zeta Jones: Hollywood player
01 Jul 99 | Entertainment
Zeta Jones stars at premiere
21 Apr 00 | Wales
Hopkins explains US citizenship
10 Apr 00 | Wales
Anger at claim Burton was gay
04 Jul 00 | Wales
Bollywood arrives in Wales
29 Nov 00 | Wales
Festival offers feast of film
20 Sep 00 | UK
Premièring the Rhyl thing
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