Seghatchian to head UKFC movie prod'n fund

New $24 mil fund part of U.K. Film Council restructure

LONDON -- The U.K. Film Council has appointed Tanya Seghatchian to head up its new look £15 million ($24 million) movie production fund, the government-backed subsidy body said Wednesday.

Seghatchian takes up the role having been the Council's development head since 2007.

Her appointment to head up the Council's main fund is part of a wide-ranging restructuring at the body following budget cuts and strategic review and follows the merger of the development, new cinema and premiere funds (HR 11/19/09).

The fund will be topped up by any recoupment made by the Council from its movie investments and will focus on first and second time film-makers as well as supporting innovative and digital film-making.

Seghatchian shot to prominence for being the development executive at Heyday Films who brought the first Harry Potter book to David Heyman's attention. She also co-founded Apocalypso Pictures with Pavel Pawlikowski, where she produced "My Summer Of Love."

U.K. Film Council chairman Tim Bevan said: "She [Seghatchian] will be responsible for establishing the brand new £15 million Film Fund with creative excellence at its heart. At a time of real turbulence for independent film-makers, I am confident that Tanya's experience and passion will ensure that they have a supportive, energetic and understanding champion."

Seghatchian will report directly to Council CEO John Woodward.

"Our film-makers are currently amongst the very best in the world, but the challenging financial climate and the speed of technological change mean that now more than ever they need a supportive and reliable home which invests in creative excellence and encourages boldness," Seghatchian said.

"I'm really looking forward to working closely with the film industry to establish an accessible and ambitious new fund which will protect investment in British talent and champion the importance of a dynamic film culture."