Letters: How to help British film

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The Independent Online
From Mr Michael Williams-Jones Sir: For Mary Braid ("Film distributors `deny choice' ", 16 December) to accuse the distribution companies of being the "parasites of the film industry" is not at all helpful.

In spite of the clean bill of health given following an exhaustive investigation on the part of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission into the distribution and exhibition practices in the UK, the whingeing and whining continues. The film industry in Britain as it approaches the new year is probably more united than at any time in recent memory behind the one issue that can be helpful in stimulating a more vibrant domestic production - namely, the quest for an imaginative, aggressive programme of fiscal incentives designed to attract risk capital into film and television production.

The example of Ireland should be examined closely for, by recognising the value of film and television, it has primed the production pump by providing meaningful fiscal and tax incentives which, in turn, have created a significant number of new jobs.

The time has come to stop blaming everybody and to start competing aggressively. What is needed is for the Government to play its role in providing the necessary incentives and first-year write-offs that recognise the huge risk involved in development

- and good old-fashioned entrepreneurship and showmanship. The evidence from around the world is that people are returning to the habit of going to the cinema and Britain should be well-positioned to feed that demand.

Yours sincerely, MICHAEL WILLIAMS-JONES President and Chief Executive Officer United International Pictures London, W6

16 December