LONDON — The British Film Institute has appointed Mary Burke as senior production and development executive at the BFI Film Fund. Burke joins from Warp Films, where she is an executive producer and board member.
The BFI is the U.K.’s largest public investor in film, with more than £30 million ($46.5 million) in funding to invest each year. Burke’s role will be to identify and support a diverse range of British feature film projects, working closely with writers, directors and producers across development and production.
Burke’s producer credits include “Bunny and the Bull,” the 2009 feature debut from Paul King, who went on to direct “Paddington,” the U.K.’s most successful independent film of 2014; “Submarine,” the feature BAFTA and BIFA-winning debut of Richard Ayoade, which premiered at Toronto Film Festival in 2010; Paul Wright’s “For Those in Peril,” which premiered in Critics’ Week at Cannes in 2013; “Berberian Sound Studio,” the critically acclaimed second feature from Peter Strickland, which premiered at Edinburgh in 2012; and Chris Waitt’s feature documentary “A Complete History of My Sexual Failures,” which premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to make a real contribution to shaping the landscape of British film,” Burke said. “I know first-hand the enormous impact that BFI investment has on the careers of writers, directors and producers here in the U.K.”
Director of the BFI Film Fund Ben Roberts said: “I feel very lucky to have Mary joining the team. She will be a great friend and ally to filmmakers. We want her to bring all of her fire and creativity to the BFI.”
Reporting to Roberts, Burke will work alongside fellow BFI senior production and development executives Lizzie Francke and Natascha Wharton, head of international Isabel Davis and head of U.K. audiences Ben Luxford.
Films supported by the BFI Film Fund that have recently screened at international film festivals include Sean McAllister’s “A Syrian Love Story,” which this month won the Grand Jury prize at Sheffield Doc/Fest; Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Lobster,” which premiered in competition at Cannes in May; Andrew Haigh’s “45 Years,” which premiered in competition at the Berlin Film Festival in February, where it won two Silver Bear awards; and John Maclean’s “Slow West,” John Crowley’s “Brooklyn,” Louise Osmond’s “Dark Horse” and Jerry Rothwell’s “How to Change the World,” which all premiered at Sundance in January.
Upcoming films backed by the BFI include Sarah Gavron’s “Suffragette,” which stars Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep; Ben Wheatley’s “High Rise”; Terence Davies’ “Sunset Song”; John Michael McDonagh’s “War on Everyone”; Andrea Arnold’s “American Honey”; Colm McCarthy’s “She Who Brings Gifts”; and Pete Travis’ “City of Tiny Lights.”