So all the rumours of elitism and cronyism within the british film industry are true as per the evidence introduced in the doc I saw at The Prince Charles Cinema recently.
Quota Film’s The British Film Industry: Elitist, Deluded or Dormant is an eye-opening look at this incestuous disease that is deep rooted in the British Film Industry. Let’s be honest it’s like any institution whether it is the Banks or the BBC and the cronyism at the top level keeping the top jobs within their gene pool.
And to think with all this talk of diversity and closing the class divide, the industry is at a low point for people who want an entry. Don’t take my word for it, many news articles are pretty much saying the same thing where the BAME and working class actors/ filmmakers are increasingly shut out. All the advances in the 80’s with Channel 4’s brave agenda have pretty much gone with television preferring safe programming which is why you won’t see many real ground breaking films.
One other not-very-surprising-in-hindsight issue is conflict of interest with some Regional Film Council heads diverting funds into THEIR OWN production companies. Isn’t that a teensy bit illegal? When one has a privileged position they shouldn’t be able to line their own pockets but then again why am I surprised? All these initiatives need overhauling and even with the demise of the Film Council and the BFI taking over, we shall see if they step up to the plate.
As someone who reads a lot about the British Film Industry, this is a fine companion to Icons on Fire: The Decline and Fall of Almost Everybody in the British Film Industry by Alexander Walker where the few people in power totally screwed it for everyone else. Shame really as there is an abundance of talent out there waiting to be recognised. At least for the ones that haven’t hoofed it to the States.
The main reason I found this eye opening and writing from a personal level, I applied to a great many funding bodies over the years and had I known then what I do now I wouldn’t have bothered. What’s the point if the cards are marked against you? What is the real point if the funds are going to their friends? Energies are best spent going after private funds like Kickstarter, especially if you are far from privileged or connected.
I know there are some people who will shout Kidulthood but these are in the minority (pun city!) and more films such as this should be championed. All said and done the shining light in all this (among a slim few) is Warp films making truly British films and creating a filmic legacy that will last years. What is needed is more of that.
The roll call of respected Industry Professionals that have been interviewed is impressive and all speak of the problem and this documentary is one big action plan for change.
It is amusing to read that London is crowned as the best city in the world and judging by the criteria selected seem to have been chosen by people who don’t live in this cultural melting pot.
Only people who actually live in london will experience the following:
Hospitals: Granted that the NHS is better than most countries and free but when I took my sickly child to an A&E outlet that hadn’t been closed down we had to wait 4 hours just to be seen. We even had celebrity mentalist and funny curmudgeon Charlie Brooker in with his equally sickly child waiting for the same amount of time. Only two doctors on call hence the long wiring time…. We were lucky as there was one patient who was waiting for 7 hours.
Safety: London riots may have happened in 2011 but don’t think for one moment that the problem has gone away. The youth are still disaffected as ever and have nothing to do so this will very much come back.
Transport: Even the head of transport has said that London will fall apart in chaotic violence as the transport system can’t cope with so many Londoners. Any given weekend a few of the train lines are closed for repair so we have to seek alternate routes and plan ahead… Mondays? There will invariably be a few lines down due to the fact that works will overshoot. Oh and it’s usually standing room only.
Housing: Face it, Londoners cannot afford to get on the housing ladder and the next generation are going to live a life of renting. Home ownership will be a thing of the past keeping everyone just above the poverty line
If you are rich on the other hand London is the best place to live!
It’s not all complaints as this is still the best place in the world and wouldn’t change all the good things about it like multiculturalism and the arts.