SCREEN FILM SUMMIT: Diversity still a problem in terms of scripts and filmmakers.

“The trend in the last five years is the quality of scripts we’re seeing. There are more viable projects than there were 10 years ago,” said BBC Films commissioning executive Joe Oppenheimer, speaking at the ‘Meet The Funders’ session at Screen International’s Film Summit presented in association with the BFI.

Katherine Butler, deputy head of film at Film4, agreed that they were getting a high quality of projects coming through. “There is a real confidence about the industry right now,” she said.

Lizzie Francke of the BFI Film Fund made the analogy that the Fund was in “a Sophie’s Choice position” having to choose between too many great projects.

Still, improvements can be made as all of the five panellists agreed that diversity is still a problem in the UK film industry. Chris Moll, head of film at Creative England, said: “There is a lack of diversity in material and a lack of diversity of filmmakers, that’s still a big issue.”

Supporting new talents is one bright spot, something that Film4 particularly prides itself on. “We approach each new talent and project as like we were building scaffolding around them,” Butler said of special care needed for first-time filmmakers.

Butler added that Film4 is seen as being auteur and serious, but yet “we’d love some fun and joy in our lives, we don’t just love angry men killing dogs,” she said with a laugh, calling for more heartwarming stories or comedies.

Francke added that she’s love to see the BFI Film Fund getting more applications of comedies or strong horror projects.