South West Screen pitches for U.K. funding

Film agency goes to House of Commons for support

LONDON -- One of Britain’s biggest development agencies, South West Screen, made a pitch Tuesday at the House of Commons to keep the funding flowing for films in the region.

South West Screen’s Caroline Norbury reminded MPs and reps of creative industries based in the southwest of England that economics and culture were interdependent.

“We want to make sure we turn the white noise out there (in the creative community) into a clear and consistent voice,” Norbury said.

She cited various big name companies based in the region, including Aardman Animation, the BBC’s Natural History Unit and Plymouth-based Twofour, billed as the U.K.’s largest production company based outside London.

As a region, it also boasts locations for other projects such as BBC shows “Cranford,” “Casualty” and “Lark Rise To Candleford” and movies such as “Hot Fuzz.”

Cast members from the runaway television series success story “Skins” joined the gathering. The series is shot in Bristol, a major city in the region.

Funded by the U.K. Film Council and the South West Regional Development Agency, the sums aren’t big -- it currently distributes 230,000 pounds ($452,758) of lottery funding for the Film Council -- but such regional activity is being hailed as an important part of media backing here.