§ 32. Mr. Dormand
asked the Minister for the Arts whether he will increase the grant to the British Film Institute; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Dormand
Is the grant to be reduced? Is the Minister aware that if the present policy is pursued, some 621 of the excellent films that are now being made with the help of BFI money will be seriously threatened, especially as the Eadie levy will not be available to the institute next year? Does the hon. Gentleman accept that the films that are being made have a commercial value in addition to their artistic value? Surely that should appeal to a Tory Government. When will he take more interest in this sector of the film industry?
§ Mr. Luce
I can assure the hon. Gentleman that I am taking an interest in this sector of the industry. I visited the institute last week to learn about its work. The institute is one of the largest recipients of British grants and I believe that it will continue to be so. It has an important role to play. I have noted that prominent in its activities are those in the Tyneside region.