The British Film Institute to Create Film Fund Tsar; Film London Gets New Board Members

Shame Meeting Film Still - H 2011
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Shame Meeting Film Still - H 2011

Organization mounts search for its first director of film fund; Film London brings in industry heavyweights.

LONDON -- The British Film Institute has drawn up a new role - director of film fund - tasked with overseeing the U.K.’s biggest public film fund with a total annual budget of over £21 million ($32.8 million).

It may not be big money, but the lottery-raised movie cash pool plays a central role in the British movie sector.

Movies including the multi-Oscar winning The King’s Speech or indeed current awards season hopefuls such as Lynne Ramsay’s We Need To Talk About Kevin, Phyllida Lloyd’s The Iron Lady and Steve McQueen’s Shame relied on lottery cash in development, production or both to be made.

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The BFI role will be executed with “a holistic approach to public investment in British film,” bringing together the areas of development, production, distribution and exhibition and overseeing all of the BFI’s lottery film fund investments.

Whoever fills the high profile vacancy will report directly into BFI CEO Amanda Nevill.

The successful applicant will be tasked with leading the existing teams at the BFI.

The creation of the role comes as the U.K. funding landscape for film is changing as traditional models of production, financing, distribution and exhibition alter.

“It’s a dirty big job, but someone’s got to do it,” said one industry insider of the new role.

Separately, Film London announced Monday it has appointed a slew of fresh faces to its board.

Chaired by Oscar-winning producer David Parfitt, the board now includes former lottery film fund chief Sally Caplan and BAFTA COO Kevin Price.

Parfitt said: “Film London is in a fantastic position, having maintained crucial funding streams from the Mayor of London, the BFI, Arts Council England and Skillset in order to continue to deliver inward investment services, talent development opportunities and business growth initiatives for the film industry.”

One of FilmLondon’s most important areas of operations is attracting inward investment – from Hollywood and beyond – from movie companies looking to shoot in the U.K.