Film 4 topper pleads funding case

Ross says downturn threatens company

LONDON — Film 4 topper Tessa Ross appeared in front of a U.K. government committee Wednesday to warn that the film company’s future is under threat as the economic recession continues to hit hard the fortunes of parent broadcaster Channel 4.

Ross spoke before the House of Lords Communications Committee, which is undertaking an investigation into the state of the U.K.’s film and TV industries.

“We would be foolish not to be worried,” Ross told the attending peers.

Stressing that Film 4 had invested £1.5 million ($2.1 million) from its annual $14 million budget into runaway hit “Slumdog Millionaire,” Ross called on to committee to re-write Channel 4’s mission to include the film channel’s activities.

Channel 4’s mission is less specific in its support for investing in British film production than that of fellow pubcaster BBC.

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