Universal Veteran David Kosse Named Head of U.K.'s Film4

Courtesy of Subject

UPDATED: He will take over the film production arm of Britain's Channel 4 from the departing Tessa Ross in November.

Former Universal Pictures international president David Kosse will be the new head of the film arm of Britain's Channel 4, starting in November.

He will have the title of director of Film4. 

Tessa Ross earlier this year said she would step down from her role as Channel 4 controller of film and drama later in 2014 after 13 years. She was appointed CEO of the National Theater in Britain.

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Under Ross' leadership, the company had much Oscar success with 12 Years a Slave.

David Abraham, Channel 4’s CEO, said: "After a very thorough search, I am delighted that David Kosse will lead the next chapter of Film4. David is one of the most respected leaders in the film industry today. He has built impeccable creative relationships with British and international talent and is also steeped in knowledge and experience of changing distribution models in film."

Said Kosse: "This is undeniably one of the best jobs in the British film industry. I've always had a passion for film and filmmakers and been a huge advocate for and a supporter of the British film industry, so I am really excited about joining Film4."

He added: "Tessa Ross and her team have done a fantastic job over the past few years, and I hope my experience in international production, financing and distribution will see Film4 continue to flourish. We want to build a slate of innovative, exciting British films, which continues Film4's great filmmaking legacy of working with established filmmakers and discovering great new and original British talent.”

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At Universal Pictures, Kosse has since 2009 held the position of president, international, playing a key strategic and leadership role across all of the studio's international operations. Based in London, he was a key decision maker in Universal’s greenlight process.

During his 10 years at Universal, he started and built Universal Pictures International, the studio's international marketing and distribution arm, into an operation based in 16 countries. It grossed more than $2 billion at the box office in 2014 alone.

His international successes have included Mamma Mia!, the Bourne franchise and Les Miserables.

Earlier this year, Universal Pictures unveiled a significant change to its international structure, moving the post of the head of international theatrical operations from London to L.A.

Kosse decided to remain in London where he has lived with his family for the past 17 years. He was understood to have considered another role at Universal before agreeing to take the Film4 post.

Prior to joining Universal Pictures in 2004, Kosse ran U.K.-based independent distributor Momentum Pictures, which he established in 2000. Key releases included Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Oscar-nominated Amelie and Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation

Ross had a hand in nurturing British filmmakers in their first movie efforts, including Chris MorrisFour Lions, Steve McQueen’s Hunger, Paddy Considine’s Tyrannosaur, Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges, Joe Cornish’s Attack the Block, Sam Taylor-Wood’s Nowhere Boy and Richard Ayoade’s Submarine.

She also has developed longstanding working relationships with such established British filmmakers as Danny Boyle, Shane Meadows, Mike Leigh and Michael Winterbottom

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