It’s where you Cannes

MOVIE MAKING: Ray Winstone filming Ashes in the island, directed by Mat Whitecross

MOVIE MAKING: Ray Winstone filming Ashes in the island, directed by Mat Whitecross

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ATTENDANCE at the Cannes Film Festival is an ‘essential part’ of the on-going development of the island’s film industry, it’s claimed.

Isle of Man Film, accompanied by CinemaNX is currently attending the 65th Cannes Film Festival, promoting the island as a location for film production and film finance.

The Department of Economic Development’s film and media manager Hilary Dugdale and assistant manager Mike Reaney will be at the festival for a week selling the island’s recently completed films (Honour, starring Paddy Considine and Ashes, starring Ray Winstone) and looking for new partnerships and productions for later this year.

The Isle of Man team are based, as usual on a boat moored alongside the Palais de Festival.

The department has contributed £54,500 towards the cost of the boat. Bedecked with Isle of Man Film and CinemaNX banners, it serves as a focal point in the week’s activities.

It provides meeting facilities, screening facilities, accommodation for IOM representatives and also serves as a venue for a number of receptions, press lunches and events involving hundreds of leading industry producers, financiers, lawyers, distributors and sales companies.

Laurence Skelly MHK, department member with responsibility for film and media said: ‘Attendance at the Cannes Film Festival is an essential part of the ongoing development of our Film industry. In these challenging economic times we are striving to maintain our position in a constantly evolving and competitive industry.

‘Cannes is the one event in the year when you can guarantee that everyone we need to talk to will be available to meet.

‘It’s very important that we continue to project the most positive message to the industry to say that the Isle of Man is very much a centre of excellence for film finance and production and that we are open for business.’

An independent report commissioned from consultants Oxford Economics to assess the value and competitiveness of the island’s film industry will be made public in mid-June.

There have been a series of questions raised in the Keys over the past 12 months about whether investments in movies were providing a good return for the taxpayer. CinemaNX chairman Steve Christian has insisted the industry, since its inception, has provided a direct economic benefit to the island totalling up to £250 million.

The Festival runs until May 27.

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