Creative Skillset, the UK creative industries’ skills body, has appointed Oscar and Bafta-winning producer Gareth Ellis-Unwin as its new head of film.
Ellis-Unwin will lead Creative Skillset’s strategy and activities for the film sector. He will work closely with the BFI, especially in delivering the BFI’s Future Film Skills Strategy, supported by National Lottery funding.
Ellis-Unwin was previously co-founder and CEO of Bedlam Productions, formed in 2000, where he remains involved as a non-executive director.
He was producer of The King’s Speech, which won four Oscars including best picture. His other credits as producer include Zaytoun, Kajaki: The True Story and Exam. His most recent project is Steel Country which was screened at this year’s European Film Market (EFM).
During this week’s EFM, it was revealed that Ellis-Unwin would produce sci-fi thriller Breach for GFM Films.
Ellis-Unwin has also worked with youth charity Cinemagic and supported Farnborough College Media Department and Ravensbourne College with their film and TV training programmes.
Creative Skillset also announced that Louise Jury is joining as director of communications and marketing. She was previously head of strategic communications at the Creative Industries Federation and has also been an arts journalist for the Evening Standard, Independent and Independent on Sunday, and The Guardian.
Gareth Ellis-Unwin said: “The UK is home to a world-leading production community. To remain sustainable at the top of that pile, we have to match that world standard with our training. We have to build a belief that a successful career in film is not only open to the advantaged few. I am a strong believer in nurturing diverse talent from postcodes all across the UK and, as a fierce advocate for continuing skills development for those working at all levels of the UK’s film industry, I felt I needed to do more than merely comment from the sidelines. I take this new role on with the support and encouragement of my partners in Bedlam.”
Seetha Kumar, CEO of Creative Skillset, said: “Gareth’s industry knowledge and connections make him ideally placed to deliver the BFI’s Future Film Skills Programme and our work more widely to support the UK’s flourishing film sector.”
Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI, said: “Gareth’s knowledge and experience, combined with his clear passion to support the next generation of UK screen talent and crew, are a fantastic combination for this role. We are looking forward to working with Seetha’s new team, including Louise – another great appointment – to deliver the BFI’s Future Film Skills Strategy and open up career opportunities for people of all backgrounds across the UK to support our booming screen sectors.”