BBC Films topper exits

Jane Wright leaves to 'explore new challenges'

LONDON — Seasoned BBC Films topper Jane Wright is quitting — just one year after being appointed the outfit’s managing director.

Wright, who will exit BBC Films at the end of the month, said she was leaving the pubcaster’s film arm to “explore new challenges.”

Her boss, director of BBC Vision Jana Bennett, praised Wright’s contribution to BBC Films during the past 15 years.

She said: “Jane’s depth of knowledge about the film industry has helped to shape our strategy and position BBC Films right at the heart of the British film industry.”

Wright said she was leaving BBC Films in “fantastic shape” and that she’d “fulfilled everything I’d ever hoped” at the production shingle.

Wright initially joined BBC Films to work on marketing and investment before being upped to vice president of co-productions and sales for BBC Worldwide Americas.

She was then made head of business development for BBC Films in 1998, specializing in raising co-production coin.

In 2000, Wright was seconded to distributor The Sales Company, as interim CEO, where she worked on Gurinder Chadha’s “Bend It Like Beckham.”

Chadha said Tuesday, “I’ve known Jane for a long time and I’ve always found her to be open, responsive and encouraging to filmmakers. Furthermore, I have witnessed her enthusiastic commitment to our industry above and beyond the call of duty.”

In 2001, she returned to BBC Films as head of rights and business affairs, working with shingles to help them create and execute finance strategies for their films and securing third-party financing and distribution.

Six year later, Wright received a Women in Film Award for her contributions to film.

She became managing director of BBC Films in 2009, taking responsibility for the day-to-day operations and co-production financing, plus executive producing a number of pix.

Latterly, Wright has executive produced “West Is West,” the sequel to “East Is East,” which will be released early next year.