Tanya Seghatchian, currently head of The Film Fund at the British Film Institute, is stepping down from her position to return to the world of film producing from which she came.
Seghatchian, the well-respected producer who oversaw the smooth transition of the fund from its previous home at The UK Film Council to the BFI, has announced her resignation today. The BFI is still in discussion with Seghatchian as to her leave date.
Explaining the decision, Seghatchian said it had been a “pleasure and a privilege to have spent four years working with some of the UK’s most talented filmmakers, but that “having overseen the transition of the Film Fund from the UK Film Council to the BFI, it was time for someone else to be the public sector champion for the remarkable film-making talent we have in the UK.”
“With the dedicated team at the Film Fund we’ve achieved more than I’d dare hope amidst a recession, an abolition and a lengthy transition process. We’ve successfully backed some very strong new voices and our films are currently enjoying critical success and major festival exposure ahead of the awards season as well as taking money at the box office. But even so, four years determining the tone and direction of lottery backed investment in British film is long enough,” said Seghatchian.
Working under Seghatchian at the Film Fund were senior production executives Chris Collins, Lizzie Francke and Natascha Wharton, alongside Isabel Davis, Bradley Quirk and Fiona Morham.
BFI chief executive Amanda Nevill said Seghatchian had made a “huge contribution to the UK film industry.”
“She brings a rare balance of independence of vision, commercial instinct and cultural understanding, and she has a real eye for backing talent. We have been incredibly fortunate to have had her with us at such a transformational time for the BFI and she leaves an experienced and expert Film Fund team in place, ensuring that filmmakers and the industry continue to be supported. Tanya’s heart lies in filmmaking and she will undoubtedly go on to make some great films; we look forward to working with her,” added Nevill.
Previously, Seghatchian was head of the Development Fund at the UK Film Council, where she was responsible for funding and overseeing a score of award winning British features including The King’s Speech, Bright Star, Fish Tank, In The Loop and Submarine. She set up the UKFC’s Film Fund in February 2010, before moving the fund over to the BFI in April this year following the demise of the UKFC.
Projects to receive backing from the Film Fund under her watch include the current crop of Cannes, Venice and Toronto favourites Steve McQueen’s Shame, Lynne Ramsay’s We Need to Talk About Kevin, Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights, Terence Davies’ The Deep Blue Sea, as well as Phyllida Lloyd’s upcoming Thatcher biopic The Iron Lady.
Prior to joining the UK Film Council in 2007, she developed and produced the first four Harry Potter films with David Heyman (having spotted the book’s film franchise potential). In 2005 she won a BAFTA for producing Pawel Pawlikowski’s critically acclaimed My Summer of Love.