London Mayor Talks up U.K. Film Industry Before Festival Screening
LONDON – London mayor Boris Johnson will host the U.K. premiere of Hyde Park on Hudson, alongside star Bill Murray, Tuesday evening as part of this year's BFI London Film Festival.
But before that, Johnson, whose office is one of the backers of the endeavors of Film London, the industry body tasked with attracting productions to the British capital, once again highlighted his commitment to the film industry.
"With 75 percent of the U.K. film industry based in and around London, we can proudly stake our claim to being one of the great moviemaking capitals of the world," Johnson said. "I will continue to work closely with Film London and the BFI to ensure our city maintains its reputation for movie magic and to support a sector that is hugely important to our international image and our economy."
Johnson will hope Tuesday's red carpet gala event, which also stars Laura Linney alongside a cast of such British acting talent as Olivia Colman, Samuel West and Olivia Williams, will remind people what made the U.K. the world's third busiest film production center in the world behind Hollywood and Bollywood.
Directed by Britain's Roger Michell, the film about the story of the love affair between Franklin D Roosevelt and Margaret Suckley centers on a weekend in 1939 when King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II visited upstate New York. It was shot in the U.K.
Focus Features has U.S. rights to the picture with Universal Pictures International U.K. rolling it out here.
The U.K. film industry contributes over £4.6 billion ($7.4 billion) to the U.K. economy - with spending in and around the capital valued at an estimated £3.45 billion ($5.54 billion).
According to Film London, on any given day there are an average of 35 film crews on London's streets. Overall, the film industry in and around London supports almost 90,000 jobs, up 15,000 from 2009 figures.
The recent World Cities Culture Report 2012, published by the mayor's office this summer, cites film as a key creative sector for London.
The London Filming Partnership set up by Film London brings together local authorities and major city organizations, which are committed to making London film friendly, whilst road closure legislation makes it easier for filmmakers to shoot complex scenes on the capital's streets.
Adrian Wootton, CEO of Film London and the British Film Commission, said: "Film London will work with the BFI to deliver elements of a vital strategy for developing the U.K.’s film industry. Through a continued partnership with the Mayor of London and the BFI we aim to ensure London continues to be attractive to film-makers from across the globe, that we can support the next generation of the gifted people working in and around the capital and grow the city rich film culture, especially outside of central London."
This year's BFI London Film Festival Festival includes several films produced and shot in London, including Tim Burton's Disney-backed Frankenweenie, which was shot at 3 Mills Studios in East London. It opened the festival. The closing night film, Mike Newell's Great Expectations, was also shot here.
Also shot here were Dustin Hoffman's Quartet and Sally Potter's Ginger and Rosa. Created here was A Liar’s Autobiography, billed as an ambitious attempt to animate Monty Python star Graham Chapman's autobiography. Told in 14 different animation styles, it was produced in 14 different animation studios, 11 of which are in London.
2012 has been "another bumper year for filmmaking in the capital," according to Film London.
Cases in point: the latest James Bond film Skyfall, which uses London locations, and Ridley Scott's The Counselor, shot during the London 2012 Olympic Games with stars Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Cameron Diaz and Javier Bardem.
Other films currently or recently shooting here include Doug Liman's All You Need is Kill with Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, as well as Kenneth Branagh's Jack Ryan with Chris Pine, Keira Knightly and Kevin Costner, Thor: The Dark World, Kick-Ass 2 and Fast and the Furious 6.