Agency taps Moll, Arnold, Elliott as managers

LONDON — Creative England, the new umbrella org that is replacing the U.K.’s regional screen agencies — bodies that support filmmaking in areas outside of London — opened for business on Monday.

The agency, headed up by former CEO of South West Screen Caroline Norbury, announced seven appointments to its board including Ruby Films founder and m.d. Alison Owen, Illumina Digital m.d. Andrew Chitty, Reel Solutions exec director Bill Lawrence and BBC4’s Richard Klein. Twofour Group topper Charles Wace, Maverick TV digital media controller Jonnie Turpie and former BBC governor Heather Rabbatts also join the board, while further members will be added over the coming months.

The agency also tapped three senior managers to lead its three film priority areas.

Chris Moll, former exec producer at South West Screen, will be head of talent development, where he will lead a national team to support creative and career progression of new talent in English regions.

Jay Arnold, previously head of cultural sector investment at Screen Yorkshire, has been tapped as head of film culture, where he will be responsible for working closely with the British Film Institute to grow and broaden audiences throughout England.

Kaye Elliott, former director of inward investment at Vision + Media, will serve as Creative England’s head of location and production services. Her brief is to maximise inward investment by promoting the locations in English regions outside of London to productions, while overseeing production and locations services.

The agency announced it will open its first scheme, the Film Culture Fund, on Oct. 17, which is aimed at orgs such as cinemas, film archives, film fests and the non-theatrical exhibition sector (such as film societies and mobile cinemas) for project activity.

Talent Development funding will open for applications in November, which will aim to support orgs and networks working with talent on a local level and for individuals such as writers, directors and producers.

Preparations are also underway for an English regions-wide digital feature film initiative, which will provide development, production and training to writer/director/producer teams. This is planned to launch late 2011 or early 2012.

In its first year, Creative England will receive £4.5 million ($7 million) from the BFI from lottery coin and government grant.

BFI topper Amanda Nevill said the new agency “will be crucial a delivery partner for the BFI’s forward plan, helping to ensure we can effectively support British film industry and culture, as well as nurturing film talent.”

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