The UK's film super body the Film Council has appointed Susan Swift as a literary scout as part of its bid to take a pro-active stance within production circles.
Swift will act as a consultant to the Council, working closely with Robert Jones, head of the Council's main fund for commercially-oriented pictures, the Premiere Fund. She previously worked with Jones at his UK production outfit Jonescompany in the same role.
Jones envisages Swift and the Council identifying literary properties and "acting as matchmaker" with producers. The Council is unlikely to option anything itself as it will not produce projects, but it can help production companies acquire and develop properties.
"It is largely a market research role, making sure that we know what is going on," said Jones. "We are certainly not going to be competing in the market place with producers."
In contrast to previous National Lottery administrator the Arts Council of England, which was not allowed to solicit projects, the Council is to aggressively seek out projects it wants to support. The funds, which went live last week, include £5m for innovative films and £5m for development.
Jonescompany will continue to exist, but its recently-struck first-look deal with the UK's FilmFour will not. "As and when projects become labour intensive, producers will be brought in," said Jones.