Over 40 leading figures from the UK film industry have written to the Chancellor requesting targeted funding support for the UK’s biggest cinema operators.
“All of our careers have been built in large part on the benefits brought by UK cinemas. But these venues are amongst those which have been hit hardest by COVID-19 and need further support if they are to survive and continue to serve their communities.
Cinema-going offers proven benefits when it comes to jobs, high street footfall and community cohesion. The mental health benefits are more important than ever in the current time. And the cinema experience has given generations of children and adults the opportunity to enjoy the magic of the big screen.
This is now all at risk. There is no doubt that if supported to survive, the sector will recover and once again thrive. But the need for direct financial support is pressing.
We recognise the support that government has already been able to provide. 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.
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.”
Those supporting the letter include: 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.