Till set as Film Council vice chair

U Pictures Intl. prexy, other board members named

LONDON — Stewart Till, president of Universal Pictures Intl., will be named vice chairman of the U.K.’s new Film Council within the next couple of weeks.

Till will take his place on the board alongside Alan Parker, who has already has been tapped as chairman. The two are already close allies, with Parker’s London-based Dirty Hands production shingle bankrolled by U.

Till previously chaired the industry committee that was appointed by the Labor government to advise on film policy.

Movie consolidation

The Film Council, which will begin operation in April, will unite the U.K.’s various movie agencies under a single umbrella. It will take charge of most government funding for the film industry, with more than $230 million in public money and lottery coin to spend in its first three years.

Till’s appointment will be announced along with the other dozen board members, who will include representatives of the British Film Institute and the British Film Commission, plus leading producers, execs and filmmakers.

Kenworthy possible panelist

Another name understood to be on the list is “Notting Hill” producer Duncan Kenworthy. Kenworthy is a partner in the lottery franchise DNA Films, which will be overseen by the Film Council, and has an output deal with UPI.

Such a cozy web of relationships will doubtless raise concerns about potential conflicts of interest. But sources said the priority was to fill the board with high-powered industry experience, and that mechanisms will be put in place to prevent members from influencing decisions that would directly affect their companies.