Olympics to stress British film fund

March 16, 2007 at 8:31 PM
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LONDON, March 16 (UPI) -- Staging the 2012 Summer Olympics in London eventually will put a crimp in Britain's film council's ability to fulfill its mission, officials said.

The United Kingdom Film Council expects to be able to take care of its existing commitments through March 2010 by dipping into its reserves, but cuts are likely after that, Variety said Friday. That's because the overall cost of the Olympics ballooned to $18.1 billion, four times the initial estimate two year ago when the Games were awarded.

Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell said Thursday the government will take an extra $1.3 billion in national lottery revenues to help pay the higher costs. That's money that otherwise would have gone to other programs, including nearly $5 million annually to the film board.

"Today's announcement by the secretary of state did not come as a big surprise to us, and indeed all lottery distributors have been expecting to contribute toward the costs of the Olympics," a film council spokesman said.

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