It has been announced via a press release that John Woodward is standing down as Chief Executive Officer of the UK Film Council. Commenting on his decision, Woodward said: “For the next few weeks the UK Film Council is in a dialogue with the Government about the future support structures for UK film. By choosing to make my position clear now, I can be objective and unconflicted throughout that process. It should then, rightly, be for others to take the new system forward and write the next chapter for UK film. He will leave the organisation in early November 2010 and will announce his future plans in due course.
Woodward stated,”I can’t adequately say what a privilege it has been to serve the British film industry since 2000 – and I enjoyed every minute of it up until 5.35pm on 24 July this year. I am proud of what the UK Film Council and its staff have delivered over the past decade. But now is the time to focus only on the future and ensure that whatever takes the place of the UK Film Council builds on its considerable achievements and retains the professionalism and expertise that the industry has said that it wants.”
Accepting Woodward’s resignation, Tim Bevan CBE, Chairman of the UK Film Council, said: “For ten years, John has shown complete dedication and commitment to British cinema. Under John’s leadership the UK Film Council has consistently backed a succession of successful films and filmmakers and helped the British film industry through a period of sustained commercial and creative growth.
“In the weeks ahead, John, the Board and I will continue to stress the need for the key functions and expertise that currently sit inside the UK Film Council to be retained in one coherent structure. Once the DCMS has announced in October its plans for setting out the future of UK film, the UK Film Council will inevitably then begin a process of transition. I fully understand and respect John’s wish not to be part of that reorganisation and, on behalf of the Board and staff of the UK Film Council, I wish John every possible success as he moves on to new challenges.”
Tim Cagney, currently Head of UK Partnerships at the UK Film Council, will assume the role of Managing Director, working with Alan Bushell, Chief Operating Officer at the UK Film Council, and the UK Film Council’s Senior Management Team to transition the UK Film Council into the new support system over the coming months. The film council has a lot to sort out after the proposed devastating cuts of 25% proposed by the new coalition Government.Is this a good time for him to go? I think he should have stuck it out until the last nail was hammered into the Film Council’s coffin, but perhaps he feels he can get a better job in Hollywood if he leaves now.