October 13, 2010
Channel 4 increases Film4 budget by 50% to £15 million.
LONDON, Wednesday 13th October 2010: Channel 4 has today announced that it is increasing the budget of its film financing division, Film4, to £15 million per annum for the next 5 years.
The new budget, effective from 2011 onwards, represents a 50% increase on Film4’s current spend on film development and financing. This injection of fresh investment into the UK film industry reflects a deepening commitment towards film and drama as being central to the creative renewal process launched by Channel 4 earlier this year.
Channel 4 Chief Executive, David Abraham, said, “From the opening night film on Channel 4 in 1982, Walter, to tonight’s opening night movie at the London Film Festival, Never Let Me Go, Film4 has played a central role in supporting the British film industry and the current team, led by Tessa Ross, has an unrivalled track record of success in developing and supporting British film making. Film has a special and unique role in UK culture, promoting a wealth of extraordinary British talent from storytellers and producers to directors and actors. I have been determined during the current process of creative renewal to ensure that it plays a commensurate part in Channel 4’s public service delivery.”
Tessa Ross, Controller of Film4 and Channel 4 Drama, added: “It’s wonderful to be able to deliver some good news to our industry, most importantly because we believe that there is a wealth of great talent here in the UK that this extra money will allow us to support. At a time when funding is increasingly difficult to access it will allow us to extend our reach further towards new voices and new audiences.”
On the opening day of the London Film Festival, Film4 is celebrating the presentation of five new features; beginning with the prestigious opening night gala screening of Mark Romanek’s Never Let Me Go, a haunting, poignant love story following the lives of three children who spend their childhood at a seemingly idyllic English boarding school starring Keira Knightly and Andrew Garfield; and culminating with Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours, which tells the true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston’s remarkable adventure to save himself after a falling boulder crashes on his arm and traps him in an isolated canyon in Utah, the festival’s closing night film.
Other Film4 gala screening at this year’s festival include: NEDS (non educated delinquents), the story of a young man’s journey from prize-winning schoolboy to knife-carrying teenager, directed by Peter Mullan; Submarine, a coming of age comedy directed by Richard Ayoade about a 15 year old dealing with the impending break-up of his parents’ marriage and his first relationship; and Mike Leigh’s Another Year which follows a happily-married middle-aged couple over four seasons of their lives, starring Jim Broadbent and Lesley Manville.
Film4 is backing a diverse slate of feature films in 2010 and 2011 from both established and new directors. Making their extraordinary directing debuts are British comedians Richard Ayoade (Submarine) and Joe Cornish (Attack The Block), and actor Paddy Considine (Tyrannosaur).
Film4 is also delighted to be working once again with Kevin Macdonald on the adaptation of the classic story, The Eagle, and Miranda July on her visionary new film, The Future. Pawel Pawlikowski’s The Woman In the Fifth and Lone Sherfig’s One Day are in post, while Andrea Arnold’s much anticipated Wuthering Heights is currently shooting in Yorkshire.
Film4, headed by Tessa Ross, is Channel 4’s feature film division. The company develops and co-finances film productions and is known for working with the most innovative talent in the UK, whether new or established. Earlier this year the Digital Economy Act enshrined a commitment to film production into Channel 4’s public service remit for the first time. In May 2010 David Abraham announced a 20% increase to the Film4 budget taking it to £10m, the level it enjoyed prior to the economic downturn.
For more information visit: www.film4.com/productions