Stephen Frears recalls meeting him soon after [Gordon Brown] had announced a big increase in money for films. "Do you know what you've done?'' the movie man asked. "Created a rush of absolutely terrible British films?'' the benefactor replied, laughing.So it's no surprise to learn that most of the films funded by the Quango failed to return their investment. Even spectacularly successful films like The Queen didn't repay the money that they had borrowed.
Still the supporters of continued subsidies have a new argument to make:
"Not all of the ones that have been released have started to recoup," explained the BFI spokesman. "The rationale for investing in films is not necessarily on the cultural strength of them. A large part of it is for developing new talent.I don't begrudge Jaime Winstone a successful career but as her surname suggests she is the daughter of Ray Winstone, so she was not some undiscovered talent who would never have an opportunity to make a name for herself in film without a half a million pound subsidy for a crappy British film like Donkey Punch.
"Donkey Punch was invested in under the Warp X new talent initiative – it's new talent, a new director, and one of its cast, Jaime Winstone, has gone on to do new things, and to make a name for herself."