09.08 2010


Jonathan Stuart-Brown for Save The British Film Industry.

The Uk Film Council was hated by UK film makers.

please watch this video in The Guardian and you will start to see why.


Brilliant expose by s and but alas only scratches the surface of the waste, corruption and betrayal of UK film makers and cinema going public.

The confusion is in the first three words.

UK FILM Council.

People love UK FILM. No problem.

The nasty Council put those words there to bombard people with kneejerk emotion. UK FILM. We love UK Film. No argument. We love UK Film.

The truth is that this was an ugly corrupt Council with six PR offices pumping out misinformation and disinformation.

It was The Council.

We all -in the know – hate The Council.

The biggest opponents of 250 000 jobs in the UK film industry, of £25 billion a year inward investment in the UK, of building sound stages and state of the art sets in every region in the UK, were many of those at the UK Film Council and discredited regional screen agencies (of which the police at least realised one was corrupt to the core and closed it down).

It must be said The East Midlands Regional Screen Agency was excellent and the honourable exception. It is ALWAYS about people not structures, committees, systems or names of bodies. Put the right people in a quango or committee or Government job and it will work well.

Alas far too many members of The Uk Film Council were members of The Club which opposes mass employment in the Uk film industry.



We led a strong and successful campaign against huge hostility to get UKFC the chop.

We were supremely successful as we were in saving the greenbelt next to Pinewood Studios.

We so far have had far less success in getting The Government to wake up to the fact the club just moves on from the unions to The UKFC and Regional screen Agencies to new places to oppose massive expansion of UK film production, jobs based in the UK and quotas in Uk cinemas for UK based product  and sound stages and sets being built in every region in the nation (the keys to massive increase in inward investment).
































The Public Inspector’s Report which almost no one in the film media has bothered to read in full is devastating.





Jonathan Stuart-Brown for www.savethebritishfilmindustry.com

Why are so very many people foolishly trying to save The UK Film Council ? Why are they turkeys begging to save Christmas and indeed hold it every week ? Why because ignorant as they are, their passion and indeed desperation is to have a massive film industry across The UK which they or their friends and loved ones can realistically get into as their career. The hunger for this in The UK is far far bigger than any other country in the world including The USA. The people who know they are disempowered are clinging to The UK Film Council like a drowning man clutching at straws. The first three-quarters is ok..UK FILM..it is just the last 25% which is going and was the cause of their disempowerment. A very active cause.


As Jonathan Gems, writer of ‘ Mars Attack’, ‘1984’, ‘White Mischief’, ‘Batman’ says, “The UK Film Council was treasonous. It actively suppressed UK Film Making’ and did so during by far the fattest most profitable years the global film industry ever saw. The UKFC betrayed us at a  time when conditions were perfect to get a profitable, self re-investing vibrant UK wide film industry. They screwed The UK and these 75 fat cat bureaucrats richly deserve the axe.

True UK film makers, artists, lovers of film and art, and supporters of UK film should congratulate David Cameron and Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt. If people foolishly sign the petition to save the fat cat UK Film Council then Your heart is in the right place, but the very best bet of you and others getting a career in The UK film industry has been dealt a fantastic ace by The Culture Secretary in getting rid of the fat cat bureaucrats who were deliberately and systematically stopping people like you, especially people like you,  getting on the ladder.

The UK Film Council is putting around evil lies to continue its scam to prevent The UK ever having a vibrant self-sustaining film industry earning £25 billion a year and employing over 250 000 people in Britain. It opposed every move to equip The UK to qualify for the $50 million to $300 million Hollywood budgets, this is outside the 200 acres of The South East it had total control. It was against letting the rest of The South East and the rest of The UK getting into the real film industry, giving job opportunities to people in every county in Britain. It used its official status, its £70 million a year budget on the taxpayer and Lottery Fund to ensure that it could block any move to stop what The Lottery Fund was designed for under John Major to build sound stages across The UK.

It was mute as Pinewood-Shepperton-Teddington merged and was not referred to The Competition Commission. It was deaf, dumb and blind as Pinewood-Shepperton moved from a film making facility in Britain to being housebuilders. It was dumb as The Board and senior shareholder (a noted property developer and asset stripper) started to transfer the film jobs from Britain to Canada, Germany, The Dominican Republic and from 2012 Malaysia, then China, so that they could sell off the prime land of Pinewood Studios in South Bucks and Shepperton in west London. They were not in the end even defending The London film industry. It was about to collapse and still may.

The only mistakes Jeremy Hunt has made is that he has given this evil body TWO YEARS grace before the axe falls. Meanwhile nurses, doctors, police, firemen, disabled care workers will lose their jobs. Petition The Culture Secretary to get rid of  The UK Film Council and switch off the money this month. The second mistake is to keep the evil ugly illegitimate child, the Regional Screen Commissions. More low profile but just as fat cat quangos stopping a UK Film Industry arising.

The National Audit Office should be going in and getting unfettered access to the accounts of The UK Film Council and The Screen Commissions AND when they discover the sums going into private companies of these same people, directly or indirectly, they should insist on surcharging them so the money – all the millions – are repaid.

Of course a few groups will support The Uk Film Council thinking they are The UK Film Industry rather than its enemy. Jesus said that “False Prophets Will Arise and Many Will Follow Them”.  These were false prophets.  Jesus said that they pretend to be sheep but are only ravenous wolves in sheeps’ clothing determined to eat the innocent sheep. They were at least as dubious as false prophet Todd Bentley. But only the very naive and very foolish will rally to them.

They can spend millions of tax payers money in magazines and a few newspapers, and on blogs and websites. If you pay for adverts, you control content. Its Press Releases will be printed without challenge, criticism, scrutiny, without truth.

Yes a very few real names, and 35 you could not pick out of a police identity parade, will sign letters to The Daily Telegraph. If these luvvies had a brain cell between them, they could be dangerous. They do have a net worth in excess of £300 million. It might be nice if they invested that in British based film making but of course they will not. They also in the main know that their careers as support actors in Hollywood financed movies are over and that at best BBC TV beckons. Their mates at The UK Film Council were their one chance to get real big money for films which usually lose money (as no one gets to see them as they will not pay to watch them) but it does allow them lots of exposure in mostly fading film careers WITH the bonus of still publicising themselves for The BBC as these do not want to end up in ‘Casualty’, ‘EastEnders’, or even ‘Doctors’ let alone Pantomines in Sheffield, Birmingham, Wrexham, Aberdeen, Plymouth, Grimsby, Coventry, Wolverhampton, or Chester.

So Clint Eastwood writes to The Chancellor, big deal. He ought to wake up and see the Pinewood Studios  he uses to make films is in imminent danger of being turned into houses, supermarket distribution centre and a car park.  He will be filming in Malaysia. The UK Film Council did not defend the sound stages we have and opposed building the 200 we do not have around The UK. These are what magnetises in Hollywood finance and stars to make Jason Bourne 4, Sherlock Holmes, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, The Mummy, Mission Impossible, Robin Hood, Gladiator,  X Men, Batman, etc These employ over 85% of the people employed in British based film making and once lost, they will not be employed here or anywhere else in film making.

We hate to be cynical. but like Oliver Stone’s recent inexcusable anti-semitic rant before his comeback film Wall Street 2, did Clint Eastwood need the publicity before he releases a s0-so movie which urgently needs the media juice ?

We take it you know and Clint Eastwood knows that it was not their own UK Film Council staff money but your money (taxes, lottery tickets) which they gave out. But first 75 people took between £70 000 and £150 000 each every year. They paid £24 000 a week, £300 000 a year, £3 million in ten years on the most palatial office you can ever imagine. They had five star hotels on your taxes, first class travel, and one had £16 000 lunch expenses.


Your money could and should have been spent much better on making movies, creating film jobs and opportunities. But that was not their goal. They had a super elite in club on your taxes and to put it bluntly, you were not welcome as a member !

You should after further research just rejoice they are gone AND write to thank The Secretary of State for Culture. There is now a real chance with the remaining Lottery Money that it will be used to help the likes of you get your chance at a career in film making.

You see the tax credit is remaining, which attracts in Hollywood productions to rent Pinewood and Shepperton and Elstree 40 sound stages to make movies like Mission Impossible, Batman, Sherlock Holmes 2, X Men: First Class, Pirates of The Caribbean….and the fact they are made here in The UK is why so many cast and crew are from here. This includes Clint Eastwood.

You see The Lottery Money to put into films is still here, it is just the greedy administrators who took 24% of it for themselves, which is going (and sadly The Culture secretary has given them 2 years notice which for most people is huge job security).

It is the tax credit and Lottery Money which creates the economic benefits which this fatcat quango claims for itself.

All that the Minister has actually said is that in his view the UKFC is an  over-costly mechanism for disbursing Lottery funding and for implementing the Government’s policies on film. Tthe bureaucracy was deliberately off-putting, bullying and designed to be daunting. You were not welcome.  The bureaucrats were bullies and you were the victim. The salaries  of the executives were high on  the  list of 170 public servants earning more than the Prime Minister.  These were conmen, these were running off with your money.  Can you please get it ? You were being screwed.

PLEASE WAKE UP AND STOP BEGGING TO BE BULLIED AND ABUSED. Their lavish personal expenses  which were the second highest in the public sector. Please do not get us started on expenses on top of that. They were gorging at The Ivy Restaurant which is very hard to do on anything like a normal income.  Did we mention ultra-expensive “gym expenses” for every member of staff.  How is that essential for 75 people who just hand out money to film projects ?  They needed 75 people to do this  but Channel 4 Film only needed 10 when they were winning back to back Oscars with Film Four. Often they only had 4 to 6 staff, but UKFC needed 75.

The UK Film Council was a rude, nasty, haughty, mean spirited organisation totally out of control and deliberately out of touch. You were the enemy not the boss. You were to be prevented from getting an equal chance to get access to the super elite club they controlled. Of course the Film Council delivered some benefits to  UK film but with the £70 million a year  funding from you, your parents, grandparents, your taxes and your Lottery tickets,  how could it not manage something?

The real question which the Minister has addressed is whether it could be administered much much better by for example The BFI, Arts Council, or just by local Unis and Councils, or local people giving their time for free to hear pitches, read screenplays and decide locally which films to back with public money.  This public money is still available. It has not gone. Only the fatcat administrators are going (and alas not for two years).

We do not need  an abusive  UKFC, power freaks and bullies, who believed it was their money, and most people need not think of applying for it.


Having lobbied hard to get rid of The UK Film Council, those of us at Save The British Film Industry have obviously been celebrating all week and congratulating the Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

For there to be a British Film Industry, there needs to be sound stages built around The UK. Ideally at least 4 in every county. Hollywood $50 million to $300 million productions can only go where sound stages are. For those who do not know, they are glorified warehouses, more normally found in The Midlands and The North YET curiously sound stages are confined to a very very small 200 acres in the area of west London, and just North and West of London. The UK Film Council  fought tooth and nail to ensure not one penny of Lottery money was spent on building sound stages outside of this small 200 acre zone..thus guaranteeing a UK film industry could not arise.

If you had 4 to 8 sound stages in your county, then Hollywood Studios could rent them for films between $30 million to $100 million budget. About 70% would be spent hiring local freelances.  The UKFC had the monies to do this. It was your money. But they had no intention. You were not welcome to join their club. They did not want to empower you and opposed those who did.

They did spend £300 000 a year on their ground rent. They did employ 75 people on £70 000 to £150 000 who often had several other jobs. But sound stages, post-production facilities, nope. If these existed across The UK, then many more entrepreneurs who invest in fast food franchaises, laundrettes, restaurants, shops, hotels, etc will take the risk and hire them to try their luck at film making for profit. It was the volume of risk taking entrepreneurs which created Hollywood. Ironically they  sold them huge monies to build hotels, shops,  houses, and forever thereafter seek to rent them elsewhere such as in The UK…which is confined to Pinewood, Shepperton, Elstree because UKFC did not want you to get your chance to play the game.

Now the MD of Elstree earns a fraction of the salary of the average UKFC employee, yet he has delivered two years of block booking of Elstree sound stages by Hollywood Studios creating lots of UK based film jobs. Why is only little Hertsmere Council, owner of Elstree, wise about sound stages ? Why did The UKFC not educate people outside West London that they are the essential infrastructure of a real industry ? Why not build another Elstree in your town or county ?

Now UKFC is gone, and hopefully certain very very high paid, huge expenses Regional Screen Commissions with them, the sound stages can get built and UK film making enter a true golden age.

We urge people not to sign any Petition to save UKFC fatcat jobs. It has nothing to do with The UK Film Industry, indeed it was the enemy of most people making films in Britain.


You would do much better to get a Petition to Save Pinewood and Shepperton Studios. These have 34 sound stages. Each employing people in The Uk film industry, well only 80% of them.

The plc owning it has sold the right to use Pinewood brandname in the last 12 months to competitor studios in Canada, Malaysia, Germany and The Dominican Republic. The origial UK studios will not compete against them for the Hollywood productions which rent in Iver Heath and Shepperton and employ all the film workers. The two biggest shareholders in Pinewood who in July 2010 got 54% of shares for the first time have both openly said they are interested in the property values of Pinewood and Shepperton, not especially the film making business on it. The biggest shareholder made his billions buying businesses to close them and sell the land they were on at a profit. Guess what The UKFC were mute during the transfer of the real film jobs outside The UK which is about to become accelerated. It was not even protecting The London Film Industry longterm.

You are going to be left with Elstree (only about 15% of Pinewood-Shepperton capacity) unless you start campaigning, petitioning to the Government now rather than the misguided attempt to save fatcat bureaucrats while killing the industry and driving abroad its major investor.
‘Chariots of Fire’ was made quite happily without The UK Film Council. Ditto prior to the utterly wasteful on themselves bureaucrats getting your taxes to play with, yes PRIOR to The UKFC we had ‘A Fish Called Wanda’, ‘Four Weddings and A Funeral’, ‘Trainspotting’, ‘Shallow Grave’, ‘My Left Foot’, ‘Elizabeth’, ‘Crying Game; ‘Mona Lisa’ , ‘The Long Good Friday’, ‘Notting Hill’ ‘The Winslow Boy’, ‘Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’, ‘Shakespeare In Love’, ‘Sliding Doors’. ‘Little Voice’, ‘Mrs Brown’, ‘Hamlet’.’Brassed Off’, ‘Jude’, ‘Wind in The Willows’, ‘Sense and Sensibility’, ‘Madness of King George’,  let alone The 007 James Bond films, and not forgetting the 15% of Hollywood movies made at Pinewood and Shepperton and Elstree Studios each year…….

There is hope but not if people fall for The UKFC con tricks. We were better off before them, and will be better off after them. You might even get a job. Very best of success.

Your dreams are not dead. Your dream is more alive than ever.

The UKFC kept letting all the profits from movies like Slumdog Millionaire just leave The UK. It did not even keep the monies made at UK cinemas from Hollywood  films it co-funded. It did not use the money it managed to get a fair deal with US distributors who control US and UK cinemas. It could have had so much money from films made or shown in The UK, yet it made huge losses and commissioned an expensive report to claim it needed much more. It had its chance and few film makers in the UK miss it.

Please reconsider. Please write to The Culture Secretary if you see that getting rid of The UKFC can be the birth of a true UK wide film industry much more accessible, much more democratic, making much better movies…and you might nag him about building sound stages across the UK.

Alongside UK sound stages, it is the genius skill of UK craftsmen who attract Hollywood to these shores. If you want to know who built The UK Film Industry reputation over many decades, then try Vic Armstrong, his brother Andy Armstrong, and Vic’s dad and father-inlaw and wife Wendy….not UKFC.


If you want to see a true genius of UK film making, to savour 9 minutes of bliss, then try this. Not a UKFC person in sight but it is British film making at its zenith.


Vic Armstrong should get a knighthood AND his brother Andy too. He should direct James Bond 23 not Sam Mendes. He should direct James Bond 24. As Vic Armstrong says: “If they let me direct James Bond, I guarantee it will be by far the best 007 ever. Even the stuntmen will need stuntmen. The action will sizzle. The sizzling dialogue will be being quoted in 40 years time. It will be by far the best James Bond ever”.

Thankyou for your time. Very very best of health and success.

Jonathan Stuart-Brown


  1. http://omarimccarthy.blogspot.com/

  2. http://www.chrisjonesblog.com/2010/07/the-uk-film-council-a-time-to-embrace-evolution-and-create-something-even-better.html
    To me, the UKFC was largely a mystery. I gave up asking for meetings. They didn’t care who I was or what I was doing, largely because they didn’t know I existed and so there was no real way for us to connect. And so everything I did, from my own films, to my Guerilla Film Makers books, to the free outreach ideas that I have initiated (like our film production show ‘The Production Office’), all went completely under the UKFC radar. Sadly, they had no idea that my short film ‘Gone Fishing’ was the only UK short to be Oscars shortlisted in 2009 for instance. How is that possible? Did they not read the full page article in Variety and think, goodness, maybe I should drop these guys an email? The current UKFC seems to only look inward and rarely outward to the wider film community. I am sure they would vehemently disagree. The fact that they don’t monitor films in their year book that are budgeted under £500k will tell you that they are completely disconnected from the current micro budget revolution.