Managing Director of BBC Films, Jane Wright is to step down at the end of this month in order to “ explore several new opportunities in film”.
Wright is a familiar face in the U.K and across the global movie scene after more than 15 years with the British Broadcasting Corporation’s film department.
Wright was elevated to the post of Managing Director in 2009 after a period of management turmoil which had seen the departure of former BBC Films chief David Thompson, with whom she worked with for years and the subsequent introduction of a management board and the arrival of indie producer Christine Langan as the unit’s creative director.
“David Thompson and I were excellent partners and Christine Langan and I were excellent partners. This is a little more about me as I have been at the BBC for a long time.”
Wright feels that she leaves the unit in a decent shape, having turned it into an “extremely attractive partner for top British talent and the international film industry”.
Most recently Wright has executive produced WEST IS WEST the sequel to EAST IS EAST, scheduled for release early next year.
Filmmaker Gurinder Chadha, to whom Wright played a key part in getting BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM commissioned, noted she’d always found the BBC executive to be “open, responsive and encouraging to filmmakers” and Sarah Gavron, who worked with her on her debut feature THIS LITTLE LIFE said “She was a wonderful supporter and facilitator right through from financing the film to getting it out to an audience,”
Wright was made BBC Films head of business development in 1998, specializing in raising co-production finance. In 2000 she went to movie sales and finance banner The Sales Company, to act as interim CEO, where she commissioned Chadha’s BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM and sold the Academy Award Best Foreign Film winner, NO MAN’S LAND, by Danis Tanovic.She returned to BBC Films as Head of Rights and Business Affairs in 2001 where she managed the legal and business affairs team and marketing functions at BBC Films.
BBC Films has an annual budget of £12 million ($19 million).