BBC Films announces new structure

MUMBAI: BBC Fiction controller Jane Tranter has announced the new structure for BBC 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 BBC Films commissioning editor Christine Langan, executive producer Jamie Laurenson; executive producer Joe Oppenheimer, commercial affairs and GM.Jane Wright.

Tranter is already responsible for BBC Films. 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. 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.

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.

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 next year.

Tranter says, "The talent, energy and ambition within the BBC Films Board is very impressive. 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 said, "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."

BBC Vision director Jana Bennett 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."

One of BBC Films' recent releases is the critically acclaimed Eastern Promises from director David Cronenberg. It stars 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.

Shooting currently is Saul Dibbs' The Duchess starring Ralph Fiennes and Keira Knightley.

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