David Thompson to leave Head of BBC Films role to launch new company
David Thompson today announces that he will be leaving his current role as Head of BBC Films to set up a new independent production company.
His new company will focus on film and television drama and will launch in 2008 with a first look deal with BBC Fiction.
Thompson will also continue to executive produce for BBC Films a slate of existing projects from development through to completion over the coming years.
Thompson leaves his current role in four weeks.
Jane Tranter, Controller, BBC Fiction, says: "After an amazing 32 years at the BBC, ten years of those as Head of Films, David Thompson leaves BBC Films with an impressive slate of international and domestic successes and a truly awesome contribution to the film and drama creative community in the UK.
"However, despite leaving the corporation to set up his new venture I am delighted the BBC will continue to benefit not only from his unrivalled years of expertise and experience, but from his infamous tenacity, impeccable taste and sharp wit."
Alan Yentob, Creative Director of the BBC, says: "Under David Thompson, BBC Films has been responsible for some remarkable British movies and television drama and has consolidated its position at the forefront of British independent filmmaking working in partnership with all the major studios – with BBC Films gathering acclaim internationally."
David Thompson said: "I feel really privileged to have had the chance to work for BBC Films for many years and the opportunity to work with such an amazing array of talent both new and established.
"I am delighted that my new arrangement with the BBC will enable me to build on these relationships in the years to come. I have also been lucky enough to work with a brilliant team at BBC Films to whom I am greatly indebted. I am particularly proud of the current slate of films in development and production which is our strongest to date.
"The experience of running BBC Films for a long time – both the creative and the commercial side – gives me confidence in this new venture!"
Thompson has executive produced films which have won numerous awards including many BAFTAs, Golden Globes and an Oscar. The films include Iris, Billy Elliot, Dirty Pretty Things, In This World, Notes On A Scandal, History Boys and A Cock And Bull Story.
He has made a special contribution to introducing the work of new directors such as Pawel Pawlikowski (My Summer Of Love, Last Resort), Andrea Arnold (Red Road), Lynne Ramsay (Ratcatcher), Saul Dibb (Bullet Boy), Francesca Joseph and Dominic Savage.
On the TV side his credits as producer or executive producer include many acclaimed and award-winning films such as Alan Clarke's The Firm and Road, the original Shadowlands, A Rather English Marriage, and more recently Conspiracy, The Gathering Storm, Shoot The Messenger and The Lost Prince.
As a producer he has won numerous international awards including three BAFTAS, two Emmys and Golden Globes.
The current film slate – the majority developed by BBC films – includes Revolutionary Road starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet; The Other Boleyn Girl starring Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson and Eric Bana; and The Edge Of Love starring Keira Knightley, Sienna Miller, Cillian Murphy and Matthew Rhys.
The slate also includes a new film of Brideshead Revisted and Eastern Promises starring Viggo Mortensen and Naomi Watts, directed by David Cronenberg, which premiered to great reviews at the Toronto Film Festival and has been selected to open the London Film Festival.