BBC Films, which employs 13 staff, won’t be impacted by the BBC job cuts announced yesterday.
Christine Langan, head of BBC Films, told Screen on Friday: “We haven’t encountered any cut in funding or in our staff” as a result of the BBC’s wide-ranging cuts announced Thursday (which will see 2,000 people lose their jobs across the large organisation). BBC News and BBC Sports are taking some of the hardest hits.
Langan [pictured] noted that the BBC Films team currently stands at 13 staff (down from a high of about 24 several years ago) and had before this Delivering Quality First company-wide initiative was announced in 2010 “started tighening up, looking at our headcount and examining our overheads. We got our ducks in a row before these cuts.” She said the “lean and mean” staff there “was a great team, there’s no fat on the bone.”
She added: “There’s been a need throughout the BBC to look at things in terms of productivity and economy. We’ve taken it upon ourselves and have been examining that for some time.”
It’s a very busy time for BBC Films, in fact, with 360 opening the BFI London Film Festival (which is also screening We Need To Talk About Kevin, Strawberry Fields, The Awakening and Coriolanus). Also, The Awakening and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen both scored US deals at Toronto.
David Mackenzie’s Perfect Sense opens today in UK cinemas and Lynne Ramsay’s Cannes hit We Need To Talk About Kevin opens later this month. Another high-profile BBC Films project launching soon is Simon Curtis’ My Week With Marilyn.
“We have a really healthy mix of first time directors and established filmmakers like Lynne Ramsay and Mike Newell,” Langan adds.
The outfit currently has Mike Newell’s Great Expectations shooting, and will start shoot next week on Rufus Norris’ debut feature Broken.
BBC Films has an annual budget of £12m. That is secure for now but will be up for review again in 2013.