Creative Skillset, the industry skills body for the screen-based creative industries, announced today that Academy and BAFTA Award-winning producer Gareth Ellis-Unwin is to become its new Head of Film.
As Head of Film, Gareth will lead Creative Skillset’s strategy and activities for the film sector, working in close partnership with the BFI and other film and screen sector representative bodies, and in particular delivering the implementation of the BFI’s Future Film Skills Strategy, supported by National Lottery funding. His role includes working with industry to identify skills needs priorities, initiating practical and relevant solutions, developing partnerships and securing investment.
Gareth was previously co-Founder and CEO of multi-award-winning Bedlam Productions, which was formed in 2000. He was producer of the critically acclaimed The King’s Speech, the highest grossing British independent film to date, which won four Academy Awards including Best Film and seven BAFTAs, including Best Film and Outstanding British Film. His other credits as producer include Zaytoun, BAFTA-nominated British war film Kajaki: The True Story and Exam, which was also nominated for a BAFTA and won Spirit and Dinard awards. Most recently he completed Steel Country which sees its first market screenings at this year’s European Film Market.
Gareth has worked closely with Cinemagic, the charity that encourages and inspires young people with ambitions to work within the film industry, and mentored its students on the charity’s debut feature film, A Christmas Star, starring Piers Brosnan and Liam Neeson. He also regularly supports Farnborough College Media Department and Ravensbourne College in a number of their Film and TV training programmes.
Seetha Kumar, CEO of Creative Skillset said:
“Gareth has a huge amount of experience as a producer as well as enormous passion for encouraging people from every background to consider and thrive in careers in the film industry. I’m really pleased to be welcoming him to the Creative Skillset team – his industry knowledge and connections make him ideally placed to deliver the BFI’s Future Film Skills Programme and our work more widely to support the UK’s flourishing film sector.”
Gareth Ellis-Unwin said:
“The UK is home to a world-leading production community. To remain sustainable at the top of that pile, we have to match that world standard with our training. We have to build a belief that a successful career in film is not only open to the advantaged few. I am a strong believer in nurturing diverse talent from postcodes all across the UK and, as a fierce advocate for continuing skills development for those working at all levels of the UK’s Film industry, I felt I needed to do more than merely comment from the sidelines.”
“The BFI’s 10 Point Action Plan has clearly identified the industry’s requirements for the future. I’m hugely excited to be working closely with the BFI, screen industry partners, National and Regional agencies, educational establishments and the UK’s best trainers to deliver the BFI and Creative Skillset’s ambitious aims for the Future Film Skills Programme. I take this new role on with the support and encouragement of my partners in Bedlam.”
Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI, said:
“Gareth’s knowledge and experience, combined with his clear passion to support the next generation of UK screen talent and crew, are a fantastic combination for this role. We are looking forward to working with Seetha’s new team, including Louise – another great appointment, to deliver the BFI’s Future Film Skills Strategy and open up career opportunities for people of all backgrounds across the UK to support our booming screen sectors.”
Creative Skillset has also announced that Louise Jury is joining as Director of Communications and Marketing. Louise was most recently Head of Strategic Communications at the Creative Industries Federation. She was previously one of the UK’s leading arts and media journalists, in a career which included the Evening Standard, Independent and Independent on Sunday and The Guardian.