Paul Greengrass, the director of films such as ‘Captain Phillips’ and ‘Bloody Sunday’ has criticised the decision taken by the Department for Culture Arts and Leisure to cut funding to local initiatives such as the Foyle Film Festival and CultureTECH.
The proposed 50 per cent cut to Northern Ireland Screen’s budget, announced last week, will devastate Northern Ireland’s three Creative Learning Centres (CLCs) in Derry, Belfast and Armagh, and the Nerve Centre’s hugely popular Foyle Film Festival, INTO Film Clubs and Film Education programmes.
Mr. Greengrass, who visited Derry during the Year of Culture last year, said it was “vital” that the arts in the city are protected.
“The vibrancy, creativity, commitment, inventiveness, and sheer scale of the cultural activity taking place in Derry – particularly amongst young people – was to me breathtaking and inspiring,” he said.
“Those of us who have had the privilege to be welcomed to Derry and have seen this wonderful city emerge from dark days to stand as a beacon of hope not just for our country but for Europe and far beyond, can only register the strongest protest at the extent of the proposed cuts to the Education and Film sector in Northern Ireland. And for Derry, so also for Northern Ireland as a whole.
“We must protect what has been built. And we must continue to develop it.”