BBC Films announces new structure
- Confirms commitment to feature film production
Jane Tranter, Controller BBC Fiction, today announced the new structure for BBC Films, and reaffirmed the BBC's commitment to the development and production of feature films.
The day-to-day management of BBC Films and decision-making will now be the responsibility of a newly-established BBC Films Board, comprising:
- Christine Langan (Commissioning Editor, BBC Films);
- Jamie Laurenson (Executive Producer, BBC Films);
- Joe Oppenheimer (Executive Producer, BBC Films);
- Jane Wright (Commercial Affairs and General Manager, BBC Films).
As Controller, BBC Fiction, Jane Tranter is already responsible for BBC Films, and Christine Langan, Jamie Laurenson and Joe Oppenheimer will report to her, with Jane Wright reporting to Claire Evans, Head of Operations and Business Affairs, BBC Fiction.
While the day-to-day management of BBC Films will be handled collectively by the board, the board members will have specific areas of responsibility.
Jane Wright will chair the board and be responsible for day-to-day operations, raising finance, distribution and executive producing feature films.
Christine Langan will executive produce feature films as well as taking on the responsibility for management of the development slate and the development team at BBC Films.
Jamie Laurenson will executive produce feature films, as well as working with BBC Four and Ben Stephenson, Head of Drama Commissioning, on the channel's slate of single films.
Joe Oppenheimer will also executive produce feature films, in addition to managing the close creative relationship with HBO Films.
The philosophy behind the creation of the board is to allow for a plurality of voice and vision and a collaborative approach to decision-making, while giving the individuals on the board real independence in their executive producer roles.
Jane Tranter and Claire Evans will work closely with the board on editorial and business affairs matters, offering their support and advice when necessary.
The new BBC Films Board, with Jane Tranter and Claire Evans, will now put together a detailed editorial and business strategy for the BBC's feature film output, which will be announced in due course.
Physically, BBC Films will move from its existing offices to BBC Television Centre in the New Year.
"The talent, energy and ambition within the BBC Films Board is very impressive", said Jane Tranter.
"This move will bring BBC Films back into the heart of the BBC, and in particular BBC Fiction, enabling much greater creative collaboration across BBC Fiction – Drama, Comedy and Acquisition – with films very much at the centre of the department.
"BBC Films will also benefit from closer access to other key genres at the BBC, allowing for a more fluid traffic of talent and a more effective cross-fertilisation of ideas.
"We aim to build on the fantastic success BBC Films has had under David Thompson, and build on the enviable reputation it has both here and internationally."
Claire Evans added: "The firm intention is that ideas and projects can now flow between the departments much more easily.
"We aim to encourage the work of many more unique and original voices to work on an ambitious range of projects on a variety of platforms from the big screen to the laptop.
"We also want to be even more ambitious with our external partnerships across fiction, and become better partners ourselves. We are open for business across the board."
Jana Bennett, Director of BBC Vision, said: "With these plans, the BBC is set to back an even stronger set of projects from BBC Films.
"Nowhere in the world can such a diverse range of talent be found working together under one roof, and I am confident that, by bringing the fiction team under Jane Tranter's leadership, we will be able to better serve the creative and production communities and offer our audiences even more outstanding storytelling."
Notes to Editors
Isabel Begg has taken on the role of Senior Legal and Business Affairs Manager across BBC Fiction, maintaining her current responsibilities for BBC Films within that broader remit.
BBC Films projects:
David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises – starring Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts and Vincent Cassel – will open the Times BFI London Film Festival, and will open in the UK through Pathe on 26 October 2007.
- In post production are: John Maybury's The Edge Of Love, starring Keira Knightley, Sienna Miller and Matthew Rhys;
- Justin Chadwick's The Other Boleyn Girl, starring Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman, Eric Bana and David Morrissey;
- Sam Mendes' Revolutionary Road starring Leonardo di Caprio and Kate Winslet;
- Mark Herman's The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, starring Vera Famiga, David Thewlis and Rupert Friend;
- James Honeyborne's The Meerkats (the first collaboration between BBC Films and the BBC Natural History Unit);
- Gareth Carrivick's Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel, starring Dean Lennox Kelly, Chris O'Dowd and Anna Faris;
- Brideshead Revisited, directed by Julian Jarrold, starring Matthew Goode, Ben Wishaw, Hayley Atwell, Emma Thompson and Michael Gambon.
Shooting currently is Saul Dibbs' The Duchess starring Ralph Fiennes and Keira Knightley.
The following projects are in pre-production: John Crowley's Is Anybody There?, starring Michael Caine, and Nick Hornby's An Education.