The UK’s Film4 has restructured its creative team following the departure of long-time senior commissioning executive Sam Lavender last year.
Commissioners Julia Oh and Lauren Dark have been promoted to senior commissioning executives and Ben Coren becomes the newly-created head of development. Oh and Dark will continue to commission new projects and oversee productions, and will also now co-manage the development team. Coren will oversee Film4’s development slate.
“Lauren, Julia and Ben are among the most talented executives I’ve worked with. Passionate advocates for the filmmakers and projects they support, fiercely devoted to the best of independent cinema, and always looking to expand horizons and innovate,” said Film4’s head of creative Ollie Madden, to whom all three will report.
US-born Oh is an experienced independent producer who joined Film4 in 2017 as a commissioner. Her credits at Film4 include Sarah Gavron’s Rocks, Tom Harper’s Wild Rose, Chris Morris’s The Day Shall Come, and upcoming titles Ben Sharrock’s Limbo and Will Sharpe’s Louis Wain, both now in post.
Dark has worked at Film4 since January 2018, also as a commissioning executive. She has produced Michael Pearce’s Beast, for which she jointly won the outstanding debut Bafta award in 2019. Her further credits include Florian Zeller’s The Father, which is screening in the Premieres section at Sundance, as well as 2020 titles Rebecca Hall’s Passing and Prano Bailey-Bond’s horror Censor, both in post.
Coren joined Film4’s development team in 2013 and has worked across films including Armando Iannucci’s The Personal History Of David Copperfield, Steve McQueen’s Widows, Justin Kurzel’s True History Of The Kelly Gang, Michael Winterbottom’s Greed, Nick Rowland’s Calm With Horses and Rungano Nyoni’s Bafta and BIFA-winning I Am Not A Witch.
Oh, Dark and Coren will all work closely with development executives Celine Coulson, David Kimbangi and Max Park.
Run by Film4 director Daniel Battsek, the film division of the UK broadcaster has an annual budget of around £25m ($33m) a year.
Lavender left Film4 in mid-2019 to join Endeavour Content-backed TV outfit Motive Pictures.