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Volume 116: debated on Monday 11 May 1987

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asked the Minister for the Arts if he will make a statement on his policy towards fulfilling the commercial potential of films produced by students.

I have ministerial responsibility for the National Film and Television School. The main purpose of the school's film-making is educational. Where opportunities arise, the films are distributed commercially. A recent example is "Home from the Hill", a successful documentary that was broadcast on BBC television.

I think I am right in saying that the film and television industries derive great benefit from the school and, of course, from its students. What part do the industries play in supporting the school, and should they not play a greater part?

My hon. Friend is right. The school produces people who are expert in the television and film worlds and provides a fund of talent, especially for the television industry. Therefore, the television industry and the film industry produce about half the funds. I welcome that, and there is scope for more funding on their part.