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Britain’s prime minister brightens the picture for Hollywood

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British Prime Minister David Cameron, who stirred alarm last year over plans to abolish the UK Film Council, delivered some welcome news to Hollywood.

On Thursday the British government announced it would extend the country’s film tax credit through the end of 2015. Britain provides rebates of up to 25%, making it an attractive destination for such big productions as the ‘Harry Potter’ movies, ‘Clash of the Titans’ and the ‘Sherlock Holmes’ films.

The credit supported more than $1.6 billion of investment for 208 films in 2009 and 2010.

‘The last year has been a massive success, both at home and abroad, for a whole host of UK films,’ Cameron said. ‘I look forward to seeing the UK film industry continue to thrive over the coming years, supported by the government’s film tax credit.’

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That’s a very different message from the one delivered last year, when director Clint Eastwood and other industry luminaries fiercely protested an austerity plan from Cameron’s government to abolish the UK Film Council, which provides millions of pounds to British-based independent productions and assists studios shooting in Britain. That plan ended up on the cutting room floor.

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-- Richard Verrier


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