Scottish Culture Minister Michael Russell has stated that there is unlikely to be any additional government funding for Scottish film production in the near future.

Russell was appointed Culture Minister in February and one of his priorities is overseeing the troubled merger of Scottish Screen and the Scottish Arts Council into one organisation to be known as Creative Scotland. The move has proved controversial with many Scottish filmmakers voicing their concerns that film will be less of a priority in the new body.

Russell was speaking at a meeting in Glasgow when he revealed his sympathy towards the calls for a Scottish Film Fund and the development of a Scottish film studio but confirmed that anything other than the status quo was unrealistic in the current economic climate.

'I am not unsympathetic to the idea of a film fund for Scotland, but at the moment it would be difficult to find the money, ' Russell reported.

'I cannot offer the $7m (£5m), $14m (£10m) or $21m (£15m) that people may talk about. But in terms of policy, we are not trying to change anything in terms of support for film, but resources are a real problem, 'he added.

In response to a recent call by actor Martin Compston (Red Road, Sweet Sixteen) for the development of a Scottish film studio, Russell replied: ' A studio will only emerge out of a healthy industry. A studio needs to be sustainable in the long term.'

Scottish Screen currently invests around £2million per annum of Lottery Funds into film production and has supported such recent features as Kenny Glenaan's Summer and Richard Jobson's New Town Killers.

The Scottish government has no devolved tax-raising powers and is therefore restricted in any ability to raise extra funds for the film industry or create specific tax-breaks that might provide an incentive for international filmmakers to locate in Scotland.