More than 40 key figures from the film industry have written to UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak calling for more support for UK cinema, which they say is “standing on the edge of an abyss” as a result of the pandemic.
The industry leaders, including Christopher Nolan, Steve McQueen, Ridley Scott, Jude Law and Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, are calling for “targeted funding support to ensure that future generations can enjoy the magic of cinema”.
“We recognise the support that government has already been able to provide,” the group says. “But we fear that this will not be enough, with the challenges being most acute for those larger cinema operators who have not been able to access any tailored funding.
“These companies represent over 80 per cent of the market, in many ways constituting its ‘critical mass’ and helping to drive the success of associated sectors such as film distribution and production coalesce. Without them, the future of the entire UK film industry would look extremely precarious.”
The letter continues: “We very much hope that Government will respond to this call. UK cinema stands on the edge of an abyss. We urgently need targeted funding support to ensure that future generations can enjoy the magic of cinema.”
The UK box office, like much of the global box office, has been decimated by Covid-19 closures. The local market experienced a 76% drop in receipts to $454M last year and most plexes and single cinemas remain shuttered with dozens of tentpoles on ice.
The UK government has pumped in additional support for cinema, but as the industry figures note, this funding has been targeted at single screen and/or independent venues.
The signatories in full: Andrea Arnold OBE, Amma Asante MBE, Simon Beaufoy, Tim Bevan CBE, Danny Boyle, Graham Broadbent, Barbara Broccoli OBE, Iain Canning, Gurinder Chadha OBE, Noel Clarke, Richard Curtis CBE, Stephen Daldry CBE, Gareth Edwards, Eric Fellner CBE, Stephen Frears, Stephen Fry, Sarah Gavron, Jane Goldman, Paul Greengrass, David Heyman, Armando Iannucci OBE, Asif Kapadia, Elizabeth Karlsen, Duncan Kenworthy OBE, Paul King, Jude Law, Philippa Lowthorpe, Andrew Macdonald, Kevin Macdonald, Steve McQueen CBE, Sam Mendes CBE, Peter Morgan CBE, Christopher Nolan, Nira Park, David Puttnam CBE, Lynne Ramsay, Guy Ritchie, Ridley Scott, Emma Thomas, Matthew Vaughn, Ben Wheatley, Michael G. Wilson OBE, Stephen Woolley, Edgar Wright, Joe Wright.