Tanya Seghatchian Steps Down as Head of the British Film Institute Film Fund

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LONDON – Tanya Seghatchian, currently the lead gatekeeper for lottery-fuelled movie funding at the British Film Institute, is stepping down from her role.

Seghatchian, a well-known face to producers around the globe, is to return to being a full-time film producer.

Seghatchian famously delivered the soon-to-be-published Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone novel to her then boss David Heyman.

She went on to develop and produce the first four Harry Potter films with Heyman. In 2005 she won a BAFTA for producing Pawel Pawlikowski’s My Summer of Love.

Seghatchain joined the U.K. Film Council in 2007, and has since overseen the transition of the U.K.’s biggest lottery funding source for film from its previous home at the U.K. Film Council to the BFI.

Seghatchian said after seeing the move from the Council to the BFI, it “was time for someone else to be the public sector champion for the remarkable film-making talent we have in the U.K.”

Added Seghatchian: “With the dedicated team at the Film Fund we’ve achieved more than I’d dare hope amidst a recession, an abolition and a lengthy transition process. We’ve successfully backed some very strong new voices and our films are currently enjoying critical success and major festival exposure ahead of the awards season as well as taking money at the box office. But even so, four years determining the tone and direction of lottery backed investment in British film is long enough.”

BFI chief executive Amanda Nevill described Seghatchian’s contribution to the industry here as “huge.”

Said Nevill: “Tanya’s heart lies in filmmaking and she will undoubtedly go on to make some great films; we look forward to working with her.".

Previously, Seghatchian was the Council’s head of the Development Fund where awards on her watch included cash to the Colin Firth starrer The King’s Speech, Bright Star, Fish Tank, In The Loop and Submarine.

She set up the UKFC’s Film Fund in February 2010, before moving the fund over to the BFI in April this year following the demise of the UKFC.

From that fund came cash for Steve McQueen’s Shame, Lynne Ramsay’s We Need to Talk About Kevin, Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights, Terence DaviesThe Deep Blue Sea, and Phyllida Lloyd’s upcoming Meryl Streep starrer The Iron Lady.

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