Stephen Frears recalls meeting him soon after [Gordon Brown] had announced a big increase in money for films. "Do you know what you've done?'' the movie man asked. "Created a rush of absolutely terrible British films?'' the benefactor replied, laughing.As a basic point of principle I dislike the idea of tax payers being forced to subsidise any industry, when it is something as ephemeral as the film industry this is compounded. The usual argument that it is needed to popularise British culture is undermined by the facts that (a) most of the films are by people who hate Britain, such as Ken Loach. (b) Very few of them get noticed by anyone outside of Britain, and (c) Hollywood executives are willing to spend vast amounts of money propagating British cultural achievements anyway, see Lord of the Rings or the Harry Potter films for example.
Which brings me on to the discovery that the Department of Culture Media and Sport announced new guidelines to which films are sufficiently British (pdf) for the producers to suckle at the public teat. If the film ticks enough boxes like having a 'Audio Post Product' or a British 'Principle Hair or Make Up Artist' it gets public money. Quite how Britain benefits from this is unclear. Perhaps it is from the artistic joys of such subsidised classics as er... um..... well that's not the point.
PS- is there a list available online of all films which have received subsidies from the British Government in recent years.