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Film4 appoints Ollie Madden as head of creative

Cassandra Carias also joins business affairs team.

Ollie Madden has been appointed as head of creative at Film4, joining from Kudos where he was executive producer.

He replaces Rose Garnett who left in February to head up BBC Films.

Madden previously worked at Warner Bros, Intermedia and Miramax before he joined Kudos as head of film in 2011. His credits include Spooks: The Greater Good, the Sherlock Holmes franchise, Magicians and upcoming BBC1 mini-series Gunpowder. The search for candidates was carried out by recruitment firm Mission Bay.

Cassandra Carias has been appointed head of finance, where she replaces Harry Dixon, who left in March to join House Productions. Starting in August, she is currently head of legal and business affairs at eOne Features.

She previously worked at Harbottle and Lewis for 14 years, rising from trainee to senior associate. She also had an 18-month secondment to Working Title Films. She has worked on Eye in the Sky, Les Miserables, The Theory of Everything and Stan & Ollie.

Film4’s development slate includes projects from Kevin Macdonald, William Oldroyd, Babak Anvari, and Iain Morris, as well as films in production or post-production from Martin McDonagh, Steve McQueen, Andrew Haigh, Mike Leigh, Asif Kapadia, Clio Barnard, Lenny Abrahamson, Yorgos Lanthimos, Stephen Merchant and Lynne Ramsay.

In May Film4 boss Daniel Battsek confirmed that the division had secured a £25m budget for 2017/18 for the second year in a row.

Battsek said of the appointments: “I have long been an admirer of Ollie’s skills and am thrilled to have his depth and range of experience on board heading up our creative team. Cassandra comes with such an impressive wealth of knowledge and understanding of our business, and will be a huge asset as we navigate the changing landscape of film finance and distribution models.”

Ollie Madden said: “I’ve had a creative crush on Film4’s output from my earliest days in the business, and it will be a real privilege to be involved in the kind of daring, innovative films they have long been associated with. I can’t wait to get started.”

Cassandra Carias added: “I’m excited to now join Film4, which is such a revered bastion of the British film industry. Stepping into Harry’s role offers a rare chance to bring business affairs and finance together.”

Photo Credit: Industrial Scripts

Readers' comments (19)

  • I thought UK film industry was tackling diversity and equal opportunities. Doesn’t this promotion further indicate how much nepotism is at play and nothing is being done to curb it? Industry diversity folk are being paid for doing nothing. John Maidens son is getting a job that someone equally skilled with no family ties could do. Shame on you Film4. Shame.

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  • Spooks movie, Sherlock Holmes, Magicians - hardly examples of the original, daring and innovative films that Madden supposedly has a crush on.....

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  • What an uninspired, safe and unrepresentative choice. The film industry in the UK needs to expand its outlook and perspective not double down on jobs for the pale and male. Tragic move for Film4 and for the rest of the industry. Shame indeed.

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  • I'm sure he's a great guy and good at what we does, so good luck to him!

    However this is hardly a progressive hire. Another white male Oxbridge graduate with family ties to the industry. There will never be true diversity if the major institutions continue to hire the same types of gatekeepers. It's just really disappointing and although it's not his fault, just shows how far privilege can get you. I'm sure he's had to work hard but the door was opened quite easily for him.

    Given the constant talk about the need for diversity if just seems to be the same old story. Consultations, reports, action plans, lots of talk... and then the same hires again and again. As someone from a BAME background it just erodes any faith you have that you might have an opportunity.

    Good luck though Ollie, really hope the Film4 slate flourishes under your creative guidance and that you'll consider diversity a priority.

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  • Channel 4 is hideously white

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  • In terms of diversity Film4 is a small-time offender or petty crook compared with BBC Films, who're like the Corleone family by comparison. Until recently they had an 100% (?) white, public school educated executive team whose combined educations could've financed AVATAR. They were/are:

    Joe Oppenheimer - Harrow
    Nichola Martin - St. Swithuns
    Beth Pattinson - St. Mary's Calne
    Ed Wethered - Eton
    Jack Arbuthnott - Ampleforth
    Ed Rubin - Eton
    Nish Panchal - the streets of Luton

    *No facts were checked in this post, but you wouldn't bet against it*

    Ollie Madden is a ledge. Westside respekt to dis gangster!

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  • Enjoyed readiing this article.

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  • What's with the anti-male sentiment? Rose Garnett is privately educated and has famous parents, but no similar outcry there..?

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  • listen if you are going to give money to the same boring film makers that they constantly support then why not hire the same boring connected people that will give money to the same boring connected people, nothing changes, and as said before the bbc even worse

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  • FROM AN INTERVIEW OLLIE MADDEN GAVE TO SCREENPLAY SCRIPTS:

    "I wanted to dive back into your history, and perhaps go through chronologically. How did you get your start in the film business?"

    "It’s sort of shameful to say, but it really was a minor act of nepotism. My dad is a film director, John Madden, who directed SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE. He had just done that movie when I was coming out of University and trying to work out what I wanted to do. He brought the whole family out for the Oscars, where there was a thing called the BAFTA Tea Party, and where I met the producer Graham Broadbent.

    I told him I had ambitions to work in production. He said, ‘Oh, well come and see me when you graduate.’ So I started working for him as a runner for his company with Damien Jones. Both are extremely successful in their own right, but have since set up separate companies. So I started as a runner there and when you’re a cocky, arrogant University graduate thinking, ‘I’ve got so much to offer the world!’ it’s slightly demeaning when you’re doing the washing up and packing boxes for most of your working day.

    But it’s all about access. I got access to all these scripts....."

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  • A quote showing Ollie Madden's attitude to development and working with filmmakers:

    "Usually when you start working with a writer or director there’s a vetting process where you’re each working out that your creative take on things is compatible. Sometimes late on in a development you realise it’s not, after all! Then the project slowly dies. We’re all nice and polite in Britain, so no one ever kills anything. You just slowly let it die."

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  • For a minute I thought that was Olly Murs! Now, that would have been a fun hire...

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  • Agree with the majority of comments here. No matter how they try to gloss over it, FILM 4 is a posh white institution. More of the same nepotism and dull films from dull filmmakers aimed at Guardian Film reviewers and readers. How very inclusive, modern and innovative! But hey, good luck Ollie. Look forward to seeing what you do. More worthy snootiness in keeping with Tessa Ross' vision no doubt.

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  • Bloody hell, the vitriol for Ollie Madden on here. Actually "straight white bloke gets top UK creative funding job" is quite a rarity these days. I've known Ollie since he was just "John Madden's son who lucked into a junior job by his connections," and all I'd say is a) he was always a very nice boy, b) he was always very good at parlaying that niceness into seemingly effortless rise from exec job to exec job - though I doubt very much it was effortless, given the companies he worked for. His taste and track record is pretty mainstream, so it will be interesting to see if he brings any hitherto unsuspected edge to his new job. But he's always been eager to please, so I'm sure he will work very hard to prove all the doubters on here wrong.

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  • I don't think it's all aimed at him specifically, it's more that despite all the talk of change and diversity, the top jobs still go to the connected and privileged. Maybe he was the best person for the job but it would be interesting to know who else was interviewed for this.

    In terms of his own track record, despite being at these big companies with huge resources, he's barely managed to deliver on much. Magicians and Spooks as a producer and The Sherlock Holmes film as an uncredited studio exec. With all the development resources available how has he not managed to push more through to production?

    No one is doubting him as a person but when someone with this level of privilege gets a top job without the resume and credits to back it up, it's right to ask questions.

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  • anonymous vitriol is the norm on here

    (s/he said anonymously)

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  • A lot of these comments ring true, and this is a spectacularly unpopular appointment in the UK industry. It's difficult to understand why he got the job without the skills, taste and credits until you discover that Battsek is an old family friend. Aha!

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  • Intriguing take down of the private education of BBC films. What do we know about the private (or not) education of these big spenders of lottery cash? Amanda Nevill, Ben Roberts, Ben Luxford, Lizzie Francke, Natascha Wharton, David Segal Hamilton, Isobel Davies, Mary Burke, Adrian Wootton, Pauline Burt, Caroline Norbury, Chris Moll, Paul Ashton, Richard Holmes, Caroline Cooper Charles, Celine Haddad, Natalie Usher, Robbie Allen, Claudia Yusef, Richard Williams, Andrew Reid. I imagine there’s a disparity between the London and the non-London ones.

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  • Intriguing take down of the private education of BBC films. What do we know about the private (or not) education of these big spenders of lottery cash? Amanda Nevill, Ben Roberts, Ben Luxford, Lizzie Francke, Natascha Wharton, David Segal Hamilton, Isobel Davies, Mary Burke, Adrian Wootton, Pauline Burt, Caroline Norbury, Chris Moll, Paul Ashton, Richard Holmes, Caroline Cooper Charles, Celine Haddad, Natalie Usher, Robbie Allen, Claudia Yusef, Richard Williams, Andrew Reid. I imagine there’s a disparity between the London and the non-London ones.

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