Film fes­ti­val con­cern over fee plan

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY ROSA DO­HERTY

OR­GAN­IS­ERS OF the UK Jewish Film Fes­ti­val have ex­pressed con­cern over a Lon­don bor­ough’s plan to charge fees for film screen­ings.

Michael Ether­ton, CEO of UK Jewish Film, said Bar­net Coun­cil’s pro­posal to charge the fes­ti­val a to­tal of £800 could hin­der the “fi­nan­cial fea­si­bil­ity” of the fes­ti­val.

The coun­cil wants to im­pose an £80 levy on each of the 10 movies be­ing screen­ing at the Phoenix cin­ema, in East Finch­ley, next month, as a waiver fee to al­low them to be shown with­out clas­si­fi­ca­tions.

In a state­ment, Mr Ether­ton said: “The ef­fect of such fees can be to re­duce the range of fes­ti­val films on of­fer to the lo­cal com­mu­nity or to dis­suade fes­ti­vals al­to­gether from pre­sent­ing films in the bor­ough.”

Lon­don Assem­bly mem­ber An­drew Dis­more de­scribed the levy as un­fair.

He pointed out that since the fes­ti­val had made the screen­ings open to over18s only there was no need for films to carry a clas­si­fi­ca­tion and there­fore no case for waiver fees.

In a let­ter writ­ten to the leader of the coun­cil, Richard Cor­nelius, Mr Dis­more said it was “be­hav­ing in its usual miserly way”.

He urged the coun­cil to drop the fees to al­low the full pro­gramme to go ahead.

A coun­cil spokesper­son said: “The fee of £80 per film cov­ers the cost of the clas­si­fi­ca­tion process. We be­lieve this is a fair charge that has to be ap­plied con­sis­tently to all ap­pli­ca­tions.”

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