BERLIN — British broadcaster Channel 4 has increased funding to its film production arm, Film4, from £15 million ($21.7 million) to £25 million ($36.1 million) in 2016 — with the ambition of maintaining similar increased levels of Film4 funding in future years.
In addition, Film4 has inked a co-financing deal with Fox Searchlight for Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” and a new two-year partnership with Entertainment Film Distributors and FP Films, the production company set up by “The Inbetweeners” creators Iain Morris and Damon Beesley, for four comedy features.
Upcoming Film4 projects include “Dark River,” the next film from Clio Barnard, director of “The Selfish Giant”; Bart Layton’s heist movie “American Animals”; the next film from “45 Years” director Andrew Haigh, “Lean on Pete”; Garth Davis’ Mary Magdalene biopic; Danny Boyle’s long-awaited sequel to “Trainspotting”; and several films from first-time filmmakers – Michael Peace’s “Beast,” Toby MacDonald’s “Old Boys,” Adam Smith’s “Trespass Against Us” and Benedict Andrews’ “Una.”
Film4 also has projects in development with established filmmakers such as Steve McQueen, Mike Leigh, Lenny Abrahamson, Yorgos Lanthimos and Chris Morris.
Channel 4 chief executive David Abraham said: “Channel 4 has played a huge role in backing new and distinctive film talent for three decades, and the record awards success this year is testament to the enormous impact Film4 has in the industry. We have the ambition for this impact to continue to grow and so I’m delighted that, under David Kosse’s leadership, Film4 will be substantially increasing its funding — which I hope will ensure that we are able to continue to nurture the next generation of filmmaking talent.”
Director of Film4 David Kosse said: “I’m tremendously proud of the diversity of the Film4-backed movies nominated for awards — and continuing to support such a wide range of voices is at the heart of my strategy for the future of Film4. In an increasingly global and competitive industry, building new and bolder partnerships across both production and distribution will ensure both that Film4 is able to operate as a more self-sufficient part of Channel 4 and that we continue to maintain high levels of funding into the film industry.”
The announcement was made at an event to celebrate the success of Film4-backed films in the awards season, with a record 22 BAFTA and 15 Oscar nominations for the likes of “Room,” “Carol,” “Ex Machina,” “45 Years,” “Amy,” “The Lobster” and “Second Coming.”