Experts recruited include Will Clarke, Tessa Ross, Iain Smith, Libby Savill, Julian Fellowes, Matthew Justice, Tim Richards, Michael Lynton.

The UK Government’s new review of film policy will be led by Chris Smith [pictured], the 1997-2001 Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, who has been appointed by Culture Minister Ed Vaizey.

Smith will chair the eight-person strong independent panel of experts.

Those 8 experts are:

  • Will Clarke – founder and former CEO of Optimum Releasing
  • Julian Fellowes, writer and director
  • Matthew Justice, producer and MD of Big Talk Productions (also on BFI board)
  • Michael Lynton, Chairman & CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment
  • Tim Richards, Chief Executive of Vue Entertainment
  • Tessa Ross, Channel 4 Controller of Film and Drama (also on BFI board)
  • Libby Savill, Head of Film and Television at Olswang (also on BFI board)
  • Iain Smith, producer and Chair of the British Film Commission Advisory Board

The panel has been asked to consider film development, production, distribution, exhibition and inward investment.

The panel’s report is expected by the end of the year.

Vaizey said: “This has been an excellent year for British film at the awards ceremonies and we can be really proud of this. But this success masks the underlying problems that the industry continues to face.  British film making is still not as profitable as it should be for British film makers and there remain significant challenges in getting productions off the ground.

“Though many issues are rightly for the industry to resolve the Government can play a big part in helping to make things better. Through this review, Chris Smith will bring the different branches of the industry together to identify what the key problems are and then look at how these can be tackled. We need to work hand-in-hand with the recently strengthened BFI and the industry to find solutions and make sure that the Government has a framework of policies that support successful business models, nurture our celebrated film talent, contribute to economic growth and create a flourishing film culture across the whole of the UK.”

Chris Smith noted: “We want to hear from the industry, from film-makers, from experts, from audiences, and from all who have a contribution to make to the debate. Getting the right framework of policy in place for supporting British film is the challenge we are aiming to address.”

Chair of the BFI, Greg Dyke also added: “The BFI is very keen to work with Chris Smith on the policy review, which will principally look at how the film industry in Britain can grow further.  We welcome being fully involved in the process and are glad that three of our governors will be on the panel and that we will be leading on part of the review itself in the areas of learning and audience engagement. During this time, we will be developing the BFI’s own strategic forward plan, which will obviously be influenced by the Government policy review.”

Meanwhile, the Government’s Ministerial Film Forum will hold its next session in July.

The review’s terms of reference can be found here.