Boris Johnson has praised the film industry for bringing significant revenue into the capital ahead of this year’s BFI London Film Festival.
The Mayor of London praised the sector for generating over £575m for London in the past six months alone and said he was committed to helping the industry grow in the future.
Johnson said: “I’m delighted to support the BFI London Film Festival 2011, one of the premier international events hosted in the capital each year.
“London has a strong reputation as a centre for creativity and innovation in the film industry. In the last six months alone features shot in and around London have generated more than £575 million for the capital, and we continue to attract high profile filmmakers and investors.
“There are an astonishing variety of films on offer at this year’s festival and I’m particularly pleased to see that the high profile films selected for the opening and closing nights have been shot in the capital with great British talent,” he said. “I will continue to do all I can to support this vibrant and entrepreneurial sector, which plays a vital role in London’s prosperity.”
The Centrepiece Gala at this year’s BFI London Film Festival is an adaptation of The Descendants. It is based on Hawaiian writer Kaui Hart Hemmings’ novel and stars George Clooney.
Spending on UK film production reached a record £1.1bn in 2010, with 75 per cent of this money focused on London and the South East. Revenue was also generated from associated spending and the tourism which comes with films made in the capital.
Film London and British Film Commission CEO Adrian Wootton said: “With everything from blockbusters to micro budget films choosing to shoot in the capital, London is a hot bed of activity in terms of film production.
“In just the first six months of this year feature films shooting in London generated approximately £575m for the city – which is a fantastic achievement.
“I look forward to continuing to work with the Mayor and the capital’s film industry to ensure we can maintain these figures and build on them, especially as we look forward to a very busy year for London in 2012.”
Film London and the Mayor are working together to ensure the capital continues to be a place that both UK and international filmmakers choose to shoot box office hits.
The 55th BFI London Film Festival runs from October 12 to 27.