Channel 4 film, drama topper to be honored

LONDON

Tessa Ross, controller of film and drama at U.K. broadcaster Channel 4, will be feted at the British Acadmy of Film and Television Arts’ film awards with the outstanding British contribution to cinema award.

Ross, who oversees film division Film4, has been responsible for a host of hits, including Danny Boyle’s “Slumdog Millionaire.”

“Tessa Ross has made an immense contribution to British cinema during her time at Channel 4,” said BAFTA chairman John Willis. “Tessa’s impeccable taste, and her passion for great writing and directing has shone through every film she has been involved with.”

Ross joined C4 as head of drama in 2000 and became head of Film4 in January 2003 before moving to head of film and drama for C4 in January 2005. Before joining C4 she was head of drama for the BBC’s Independent Commissioning Group, where her commissions included the BAFTA-winning “Billy Elliot.”

Other films she has guided include Kevin Macdonald’s “The Last King of Scotland,” Steve McQueen’s “Hunger,” Mike Leigh’s “Happy-Go-Lucky,” Martin McDonagh’s “In Bruges” and “Seven Psychopaths,” and BAFTA-nominated docu “The Imposter.”

Upcoming titles include Danny Boyle’s “Trance,” Michael Winterbottom’s “The Look of Love,” McQueen’s “Twelve Years a Slave” and Macdonald’s “How I Live Now.”

Ross said, “It’s a surprise and a great honor to have been given this award by BAFTA. I owe it of course to the wonderful filmmakers I’ve had the privilege of working with and to my team at Film4, with whom I share it.

“There are incredibly talented people working within our industry, as well as outside it, and 30 years ago Film4 was built to find these people, nurture them and help contribute to our British film culture. It’s a privilege to try to keep this idea alive.”

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