Film London Creates Department for Artists Looking to Make Movies

Adrian Wootton - P 2012
Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Adrian Wootton - P 2012

The U.K. government-backed agency appoints current production and talent development tsar Maggie Ellis to run the newly formed unit.

LONDON – Film London, the British capital's movie agency familiar to Hollywood's location decision-makers, is setting up a dedicated department for artists looking to make movies.

The U.K. government-backed agency has tasked current head of production and talent development Maggie Ellis with the job of overseeing the newly created department.

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Ellis is named head of Artists' Moving Image and will aim to build on the growth in artists turning to film.

Funded by Arts Council England (ACE), Film London launched its Artists’ Moving Image Network (FLAMIN) in 2005 to provide London-based artists working in the moving image access to funding, guidance, development opportunities and promotional and exhibition platforms.

The present set-up runs the successful Film London Jarman Award, an annual prize which awards $16,000 (£10,000) and a broadcast commission, alongside FLAMIN Productions, the commissioning fund behind the multi-award-winning Two Years At Sea directed by Ben Rivers and West Hinder by Elizabeth Price, who won last year’s Turner Prize, the U.K.'s highest-profile art nod.

Adrian Wootton, chief executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, said: "Over the past seven years we have seen extraordinary growth and development in this sector. This is of course down to the talent of the artists and the work, but in part it is also a result of the work of FLAMIN, which has been integral in supporting and nurturing many of those individuals in this area of work. Maggie has been a guiding force in that work and her appointment as Head of Artists' Moving Image will ensure she is in a position to drive it further."

Ellis said: "When we started this work at Film London we were one of very few voices championing artists’ moving image practice. Artists’ films are now being released theatrically in cinemas as well as being screened in galleries and across other platforms, commanding large audiences. This work is gaining in profile and momentum – a fact demonstrated last year when three of the four artists nominated for the Turner Prize were moving image artists. We have seen an exciting blurring of boundaries over the past few years, due in no small part to Film London’s and ACE’s commitment to artist film-makers."

Film London will appoint a new head of talent development and production in the coming months, with Ellis continuing to oversee all of the agency’s production activity, including Film London Microwave and its shorts and training programs.