01 MAR 2011
By Nile Gardiner | The Telegraph Blogs
Within hours of the emphatic triumph of The King’s Speech at last night’s Oscars, the European Union is already trying to claim credit in a shameless act of ludicrous self-promotion. In an Orwellian press release entitled: “Major success for EU-backed film The King’ Speech”, the European Commission boasts:
European Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou has welcomed the major success of EU-backed film ‘The King’s Speech’, which was crowned with four Oscars at last night’s 83rd Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood. The film, which received €562 000 in distribution support from the EU MEDIA fund for cinema, scooped the big prizes for Best Picture, Best Director (Tom Hooper), Best Actor (Colin Firth) and best original screenplay (David Seidler). Another MEDIA-backed film, ‘In a Better World’, directed by Denmark’s Susanne Bier, collected the statuette for best foreign language film.
Commissioner Vassiliou, who is responsible for education and culture, said: “What a great night for the European film industry and the MEDIA programme. Europe loves cinema and the world loves our films! My congratulations to Tom Hooper and Susanne Bier, who showed that you don’t need a massive budget to make world-beating films. This shows that the European film industry can compete with the best.”
The King’s Speech did not of course receive a single Euro from Brussels in production funds. It is an entirely British-made and funded film, receiving funds from the Aegis Film Fund, a consortium of private investors, and from the UK Film Council.
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