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Wednesday, 20 November, 2002, 07:11 GMT
Wales hopes to lure movie moguls
Ioan Gruffudd is expected at the commission's launch
Ioan Gruffudd is expected at the commission's launch
Selling Wales to Hollywood as the perfect movie location is expected to become easier with the launch of a new film promotion body.

The Wales Screen Commission, which is launched on Wednesday, will replace three regional commissions - previously based in north, mid, and south Wales.

It is hoped that the body will make Wales a one-stop shop for film-makers.

Snowdonia
Snowdonia is the perfect backdrop for some films

Culture Minister Jenny Randerson will perform the official launch at Cardiff's Coal Exchange, and some of the best-known faces in Wales - including actors Rhys Ifans and Ioan Gruffudd - are expected to join in the celebration.

"When we are selling Wales as a location for film abroad, then we have got one organisation going to do the selling, rather than several film commissions all trailing abroad in order to sort of compete against each other," Mrs Randerson said.

Over the years, Wales has supplied locations for a wide range of films - from comedy classic Carry On Up the Khyber to From Russia With Love.

More recently, the blockbuster Tomb Raider II was filmed in Snowdonia.

Partnership

The new commission is aimed at bringing a co-ordinated approach to attracting some of the biggest names in the film industry to Wales.

It will be co-ordinated by SgrÓn in partnership with the Welsh Development Agency and local authorities, and will provide a comprehensive location-finding service.

The launch of the commission coincides with a four-day event for the film and new media industries - Focus on Interactive and Focus on Film.

It is a forum for people in the film and new media industries in Wales to discuss new developments within the industry.

Earlier this month, an online photo library of picturesque film locations across Wales was launched by the North Wales Film Commission an effort to entice lucrative Hollywood productions.

Revenue

Tomb Raider II actress Angelina Jolie was full of praise for Wales' beautiful scenery when she was on location.

The commission said it hoped to attract other stars of her calibre in film projects, which bring in much needed revenue to the rural economy.

The production team for the action adventure sequel - filmed at Llyn Gwynant near Beddgelert - felt the area met their needs ideally.

The movie saw £1m being spent in the region during the location work and 50 businesses gained work as a result.

See also:

08 Nov 02 | Wales
03 Jul 01 | Entertainment
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