– . – UK producer Iain Smith to Chair British Film Commission
UK producer Iain Smith to Chair British Film Commission
The full press release follows below.
Film London, through a new Advisory Board Chaired by producer Iain Smith (The A-Team, Children of Men), will set the strategy, policy and delivery objectives of the BFC to bring vital investment to the UK. The existing Office of the British Film Commissioner team, including Colin Brown as Commissioner, will transfer to Film London, retaining valuable expertise both in the UK and US.
The UK is the world’s busiest film production centre outside of North America. 2010 was a record year for inward investment features shooting in the UK, generating almost £1bn, up 15% on the previous year. The BFC aims to build on this success ensuring high levels of inward investment are maintained.
Iain Smith, the newly appointed Chair of the BFC Advisory Board, said: “It is essential that we continue to successfully compete for an increased share of the international film production market. Our film infrastructure across the UK is the envy of the world, but in changing times it must be sustained, informed and supported by awareness and strategic intervention at the sharp end of the wider international business. That will be the primary function of the British Film Commission’s new Advisory Board.”
Minister for the Creative Industries, Ed Vaizey said: “With the appointment of Iain Smith Film London have set out a strong future for the British Film Commission. The BFC will remain one of the key pillars of a successful British film industry, bringing in vital inward investment. In addition to supporting inward investment the Government has given its commitment to film in the nations and regions, to a 60 per cent increased share of lottery for British film and to the film tax credit. The message is clear: the UK has the structures, talent, skills and support in place to make it the best place to invest.”
The BFC, which today also revealed its new national brand, will be delivered through an innovative public/private partnership with key film industry bodies including Pinewood Studios Group, UK Screen Association and the Production Guild. The unit will receive funding from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), via the BFI. The UK government has confirmed its commitment to inward investment and the UK’s popular tax credit.
Initially joining Iain Smith on the Advisory Board are representatives from Warner Bros., Pinewood Shepperton plc, the National Screen Agencies for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, BFI Director, Amanda Nevill, PACT CEO John McVay and Creative England Chair John Newbigin alongside the Chair of Film London, producer David Parfitt (My Week with Marilyn, Shakespeare in Love). In addition to this provisional list, a full list of BFC Advisory Board members will be announced in the coming weeks.
David Parfitt said: “Having a producer of Iain’s calibre chairing the BFC Advisory Board puts us in the best possible position, allowing the BFC to build on the previous success of the inward investment unit. Iain has over 40 years of experience working both here and in the US and I am confident that with his skills, contacts and expertise we can continue to ensure the UK remains one of the most popular filming destinations in the world.”
With the existing inward investment team being transferred to the BFC there will be a seamless transition and continuity of service. The BFC will now be based between Film London’s central London offices and the US. Andy Weltman will continue to head up the US office in LA. The BFC will form strong links with the national agencies in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to successfully promote the whole UK package. As a delivery partner in the UK’s national film policy, Film London will build on its existing relationship with the BFI to form a strategic partnership and work in close collaboration.
Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London said: “Having the DCMS transfer responsibility of the BFC to Film London is a demonstration of how successful Film London has been as a regional agency. We aim to build on the current record levels of inward investment and with the existing team, a brilliantly qualified Chair and Advisory Board, we are in a fantastic position to maximise the potential within the UK. In addition to managing the BFC, Film London will also continue its core regional activity. We fully intend to go on delivering for the capital as we always have done, and we now have the people in place to also deliver on a national level.”