U.K. filmmakers get cash for Olympic projects

Film Nation to support string of cultural film activities

LONDON -- Wannabe filmmakers are to enjoy the benefits of the London 2012 Olympics via a U.K. Film Council backed plan to pump £3 million ($4.9 million) into "Film Nation" in the run up to the event.

The banner "Film Nation" is one of the first cultural projects to receive funding from the Olympic Lottery Distributor via the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).

Film Nation will receive the lottery cash to support "a string of cultural activities which will give young people the chance to get involved in making and showing films that reflect contemporary society," the Council said.

"Film Nation" comprises a U.K.-wide shorts filmmaking competition, a documentary film project following young Olympic and Paralympic contenders, an Olympic schools film week showing films from the Olympic nations and a program of masterclasses with some of the world's greatest filmmakers in the run up to the sporting shindig.

U.K. Film Council CEO John Woodward said: "Our focus will be on young film talent from across the U.K. and also on tapping into the skills of some of the world's most acclaimed filmmakers."

Partners include Skillset, the British Film Institute, Scottish Screen, Northern Ireland Screen, Film Agency for Wales, Screen England, BAFTA and the Cinema Exhibitors' Association.