UPDATED: Producers Stephen Woolley, Kris Thykier, Jeremy Thomas, Andrew Macdonald and Eric Fellner as well as BBC Films, the BFI, FDA and Pact comment on the appointment of Universal Pictures exec David Kosse as the new head of Film4.
Jeremy Thomas, producer
“We are extremely lucky that an executive with David Kosse’s skill and sensibility has taken Tessa’s job which was a very hard position to fill. They are big boots to fill and I think David Kosse is a wonderful and surprise appointment.
“He has got experience. He is an internationalist with good taste. He knows the film business inside out…he is an executive who is sympathetic to the talent. It’s a very sensible appointment and I applaud it.”
Stephen Woolley, producer
“I am very fond of David (Kosse) and I think he has lots that he will bring to the appointment. It’s an interesting selection.
“I am surprised (like I think everybody in the business will be surprised) that they’ve gone with somebody who is so from the industrial world of distribution rather than the world Tessa (Ross) came from which was more the world of creative matters.
“Having said that, as an ex-distributor myself, I am intrigued and fascinated to see they’ve gone in that direction.
“It will be interesting to see if David brings a team or tries to keep the team they have there. I am sure they will try to keep the team they have there because it has done such an incredible job.”
Kris Thykier, producer
“I’ve know him since PolyGram. He is a truly excellent creative executive, incredibly supportive of film-makers and a brilliant appointment.
“It’s great that we have someone with genuine knowledge of the global commercial movie business, applying that knowledge to the public sector.
“Without David, The Debt — the film I made with John Madden — would never have been distributed, nor would Stephen Daldry’s Trash, the film I produced in Brazil last year with Working Title, have been made. He was a passionate advocate for both and I owe him a great deal.
“He has been the driving force behind UPIP, the international production side of Universal Pictures and will be incredibly missed.
“I can’t wait to see where he takes Film4.”
Andrew Macdonald, producer, DNA Films
“It’s a terrific appointment. I’ve known David since he worked at PolyGram and have known him through Momentum and Universal. He understands Britain and he loves it here. I think that’s one of the reasons why we are lucky to get him - he didn’t go back to LA.
“He has always had good relationships with British talent and I think he is one of the most experienced film executives in the UK. I can’t think of anybody better so I am delighted.
“It’s an impossibly tough task to follow Tessa. She has had an amazing success. But I think David well-placed and incredibly well-regarded and respected.
“David Aukin came from the theatre. Paul Webster was a producer. Tessa came from television drama. I don’t think there are any rules that are correct for that job…it is very important these days that you have somebody who understands business as well as creative.”
Christine Langan, BBC Films
“I am delighted. I think it is a very exciting appointment. David is a hugely respected, senior figure in the industry with tons of commercial experience and lots and lots of contacts and supporters. He is very liked and super smart. I think they’ve done very well in this appointment.
“While Tessa is a tough act to follow, I think there is something exciting and refreshing about this direction. From the conversations we’ve had in the past, I imagine David would take on a creative brief with relish and skill. He is a very bright man and very switched on and sensitive.
“It’s not absolutely obvious (the appointment) but it makes a lot of sense. We have so much in common, BBC Films and Film4. Of course, we have a similar brief so there is always this notion of competition but actually I think we are both absolutely central to the British film industry, driving it forward and supporting it and celebrating it.
“I think this appointment is a vote of confidence in that industry. I am sure that they are very happy at Channel 4.”
Eric Fellner, Working Title
“David Kosse is one of the finest film executives in the international marketplace. For Film4 to have persuaded him to come there is a major coup. He understands the international landscape of film better than anyone. I am sure he will be an incredible addition to their team.”
Mark Batey, CEO, Film Distributors’ Association
“It feels an inspired appointment. With David at the helm, Momentum Pictures was a widely admired indie distributor, while more recently Universal’s stand-alone distribution operation has achieved formidable success.
“Having a laser-sharp audience-focused sensibility, plus all those outstanding working relationships, in the Film4 driving seat augurs well for the continued success of the great company.”
Amanda Nevill, CEO, British Film Institute (BFI)
“Our congratulations to Channel 4 on bringing David Kosse on board, whose experience and reputation makes this a real coup for them.
“We value highly the partnership relationship that exists between Film4 and the BFI and know how important it is that this remains dynamic and creative, and are really excited about working with David.”
Marc Samuelson, chair of Pact’s Film Policy Group
“David Kosse has long been an accessible and world class executive at Polygram, Momentum and Universal, and Pact welcomes the appointment of such a significant international film industry leader to this crucial role.
“The detail of Film4’s strategy in this new era is of crucial importance to British film producers, and Pact looks forward to working closely with David and the Film4 team to take British independent film production forward.
“Recent statistics from the BFI show that while inward investment is booming, independent film is suffering and Film4 is a cornerstone of our sector. We hope to work through this difficult time with Film4 as one of our most positive and far sighted industrial partners, as they have been to date.”
Mike Downey, producer, F&ME
“A firm hand on the tiller at Film4 is welcomed by the active independent production community. The channel has a commitment to supporting and developing solid UK independent talent, and with someone like David in the top job, that mission has every chance of being not only accomplished but consolidated, maintained, and further developed.”