Eva Yates

Source: BBC Film

Eva Yates

Eva Yates has been confirmed as the new director of BBC Film, taking on one of the major roles in the independent UK film ecosystem. 

Yates has been acting director at the development and production body since the departure of Rose Garnett to join US firm A24, announced in early March this year. She will start immediately as director, and will be in Cannes.

Yates will oversee BBC Film’s £11m annual budget for development and production, which goes towards 12 to 15 films a year. Also under her remit is the Storyville documentary strand, managed by Philippa Kowarsky.

“Eva brings a wealth of experience to the role and is hugely respected in the UK film industry,” said BBC chief content office Charlotte Moore, who made the appointment. “She has established relationships with many of the UK’s leading filmmakers, a passion for nurturing new talent, a real eye for quality and I know she will continue to champion the ambitious range of films we’ve seen shine in recent years.”

“BBC Film is a unique and special place: a home for filmmakers to discover, create and show their best work, so the opportunity to lead it into a new phase is simply too good to miss,” said Yates. “It is a great privilege to work within a BBC so ambitious for film and British creativity under Charlotte Moore and to take the reins from Rose Garnett, a truly exceptional creative leader and a dear colleague and friend to us all. If the filmmakers, the ambition and the change we have seen through in the last five years is any indication, we have very exciting times ahead.”

BBC Film has backed three titles at this month’s Cannes Film Festival: Ruben Ostlund’s Competition entry Triangle Of Sadness, Directors’ Fortnight pick God’s Creatures by Saela Davis and Anna Rose Holmer; and Charlotte Wells’ Aftersun in Critics’ Week.

Having joined BBC Film in 2017, Yates has commissioned over 30 features as a BBC commissioner and executive producer, including Aleem Khan’s six-time Bifa winner After Love; Rapman’s 2019 release Blue Story; and Bassam Tariq’s Mowgul Mowgli, starring and co-written by Riz Ahmed.

Prior to joining the BBC, Yates worked for eight years as an executive at Film4, on titles including Rungano Nyoni’s Bafta-winning I Am Not A Witch, and Been So Long starring Michaela Coel. Yates has also held production and development roles at the UK Film Council and Revolution Films.

A replacement for Piers Wenger, director of BBC Drama, who is joining A24 with Garnett, has yet to be announced.