Before the mayor of London's gala as part of the London Film Festival, Boris Johnson has unveiled a new set of priorities for filming in London.

Mr Johnson said new legislation would help filmmakers working in the capital and announced a boost in funding for grassroots cinema.

Hours before the mayor of London gala screening of Michael Winterbottom's Genova, Mr Johnson held a meeting with key players from the film production industry at City Hall, including Winterbottom, producers Tim Bevan (Frost/Nixon, Four Weddings and a Funeral) and Andrew Macdonald (Trainspotting, The Last King of Scotland); and Bend It Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha.

The mayor announced his backing for the London Film Day, a campaign being developed by the capital's film and media agency Film London, and welcomed new powers in the London Local Authorities and Transport Act 2008 which help make the capital more appealing for film-makers by minimising traffic disruption during shoots.

"The film industry - arguably more than any other - has simultaneously brought the world to London and put London on the world map," he said.

"Few cities can compete as an iconic backdrop, and it's no surprise that our capital has become on of the top production centres in the world.

"My job is to help keep it that way and I'm determined that this film summit will signal the start of a highly productive relationship with a sector that has brought income, jobs, and a lot of pleasure to London."

Adrian Wootton, chief executive of Film London, said he was "delighted" at Mr Johnson's backing for the agency's new initiatives.

"This is a massively important industry to our city with huge potential to increase business opportunities across a whole range of areas," he added.

"The wonderful thing about today's announcements is there is good news for everyone, those on the ground working on productions, Londoners looking to break into the industry and those who simply love watching films."

22/10/2008 15:55:14