U.K. Production Fund Tsar Ben Roberts to Deliver Keynote Address to Producers and Financiers

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The BFI Film Fund director, in charge of the U.K.'s largest single public movie production fund, is expected to lay out his vision for public funding for the next five years.

LONDON – U.K. public funding movie tsar Ben Roberts is lined up to deliver this year's keynote address at the Film London Production Finance Market (PFM) Oct. 17.

The PFM, staged in association with the BFI London Film Festival during the shindig, is to give the stage to Roberts, the man with overriding responsibility for the U.K.’s largest public film fund, currently at £18 million ($28.8 million) annually and set to rise to £24 million ($38.4 million) by 2017.

Former Universal Pictures International executive and Protagonist Pictures CEO Roberts is expected to deliver his vision for the future of his funding unit and to explain to the industry heavy crowd the whys and wherefores of his fund and its application process.

This year's PFM also promises a "senior producer panel" discussions with Stephen Woolley (Number 9 Films), David Parfitt (Trademark Films), Peter Watson (Recorded Picture Company/HanWay Films) and Andrea Calderwood (Slate Films) all signed up for the discussion.

The panel is charged with analysing the challenges producers face making product aimed at the international market and share views on how the U.K. can develop stronger international relationships under the new U.K. funding system.

Running since 2007, the event aims to connect producers and financiers to encourage fresh film financing relationships by facilitating 800 face to face meetings and a further 300 financier-to-financier meetings over the two days.

Film London and British Film Commission chief executive Adrian Wootton said: "I am delighted Ben Roberts will be our keynote speaker this year. Coupled with some of our most successful homegrown film-makers on the producer panel, the PFM will give attendees a taste of how the U.K. industry will effectively engage with the international industry in the future."

The PFM is supported by the BFI, the Mayor of London, MEDIA and U.K. Trade & Investment and runs Oct. 17 and 18.

This year the PFM has corralled 52 producers presenting projects with €305 million ($393 million) of production value, up from €245 million ($315 million) in 2011.

Organizers said there are also a number of new territories – including Turkey, Finland and the Czech Republic – coming to the PFM this year.