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Downturn in Uk Film Production Industry Impacts on Island 9 October 2006

Autumn has got off to a quieter start than usual in terms of on-Island film production activity this year. Changes in the relevant UK tax relief legislation, shortly to be ratified by the European Union, have left a number of productions, both on and off-Island, awaiting news of the revised structure before filming can commence.

“So far this year we have co-financed and co-produced five feature films (Miss Potter, Sparkle, The Walker, Mutant Chronicles and Deaths of Ian), one television drama (Who Gets the Dog?) plus our major animation series FREEFONIX” said DTI Minister Alex Downie. “It’s very frustrating, not only for the team at Isle of Man Film but also for the scores of local people involved in the industry. However, we are not sitting idly by during this lull in physical production. We’re preparing the ground for our usual run of feature films to get up and running, as soon as the legislation is ratified by the European Union. As soon as the industry specialists familiarise themselves with the newly introduced guidelines, we’ll be back in business.”

Member of the DTI with responsibility for Film matters, Leonard Singer stated, “The changes in the relevant UK legislation have certainly caused temporary interruptions to many production schedules across the British film industry. Only two feature films went into production in the UK last month, compared to five for the same period last year. And investment last month plunged by 88% to just £7.6million compared with £88million in September 2005.”

“Meanwhile some of our recently completed films are lining up for release,” continued Mr Singer. “Big Nothing starring Simon Pegg and David Schwimmer gets its UK release on 24th November and the Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor film Miss Potter will be released in the US and the UK on 5th January 2007. In the meantime, we’re in negotiations on a number of projects for production in the near future and well into 2007.”

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