Director Michael Winner has dismissed British Prime Minister David Cameron's plans to make the U.K. film industry "commercially successful" as nonsense, insisting moviemakers are unable to predict a sure-fire hit.
Cameron visited the U.K.'s Pinewood Studios, where the Bond movies are filmed, earlier this week (begs09Jan12) to talk about making the British film industry more profitable by giving producers money from the U.K. lottery fund to funnel into projects with big potential at the global box office.
His comments have come under fire from industry insiders after his coalition government axed the level of grants handed out by the Arts Council and closed the UK Film Council in 2010.
And Death Wish director Winner has joined the backlash against the prime minister, insisting his ideas would never get off the ground because it's impossible to know if a movie will make a huge return.
Winner tells Sky News, "(His comments are) a joke. Does he seriously think that someone at the British Film Institute is going to be capable of knowing what films are commercially successful? It's nonsense."
The moviemaker is also adamant that even the success of The King's Speech, the highest-grossing British-made independent movie of all time, was impossible to predict.
He adds, "I don't think that people would have chosen that as a commercial film, certainly nowhere near to the degree it has become. There are always these... strange films that break through, but 90 per cent or 99 per cent of British films die a death."