England

New body to support film industry in East of England

A new organisation, formed with two major film studios, is being set up to replace the regional agency Screen East which went into liquidation.

Screen East, which encouraged film and television production across the eastern region, went insolvent in September with debts of about £4m.

The new body Film Link is due to start operations in January.

It has been formed in partnership with the University of Hertfordshire, Elstree Studios and Leavesden Studios.

The new commission will officially start in January 2011.

Based at Elstree Studios, Borehamwood - famous for Star Wars, Indiana Jones and The Shining - Film Link will replace the locations services offered by Screen East.

With support from Hertfordshire County Council, Film Link aims to provide help to film-makers interested in filming on location in the east of England.

Kerry Ixer, director of filming-related services at Film Link, said: "Film Link recognised the opportunity left by Screen East, made a bid and has successfully acquired Screen East's locations and film crew database.

"It is our intention to continue to offer a high quality film and television locations service to the filming industry.

"Last year many businesses and residents who promoted their properties on Screen East's locations database benefited from a share of the massive £38.5m spent on location filming in the East of England."

Roger Morris, managing director of Elstree Studios, said: "We were very keen for the future film commission for the East of England to remain within the East of England.

"Elstree Studios, home to so many excellent films, is the natural home for Film Link and its services to the film and television industry."

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