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The Four Heads of Film4

Smith, Justin; Mayne, Laura


Justin Smith


There have been four key figures responsible for Channel 4's film production activities since the Channel's inception in 1982. David Rose, David Aukin, Paul Webster and Tessa Ross have each ensured that Channel 4 retains its key commitment to promoting British film culture, as envisioned by its first chief executive Jeremy Isaacs. They have presided over film and drama through changes within the corporate structure and financing of the Channel, through deregulation of the television industry and the expansion of the independent production sector, through the growth of the digital economy and multi-channel television, and through changes in the funding landscape and the fortunes of the UK film industry. As vital contributors to the film culture they have each expressed their own individual passion for and commitment to British film, have championed establish film-makers and nurtured new talent, and have worked tirelessly to advance British film on the world stage and to broaden its domestic audience base. Occupying a unique position at the interface of the television and film industries, and between the cultural patronage of public service broadcasting and international co-production finance, they share a rare skill above all: an eye for a good script.


Smith, J., & Mayne, L. (2014). The Four Heads of Film4. Journal of British cinema and television, 11(4), 517-551.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 1, 2014
Publication Date 2014-10
Deposit Date Nov 27, 2019
Journal Journal of British Cinema and Television
Print ISSN 1743-4521
Electronic ISSN 1755-1714
Publisher Edinburgh University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 4
Pages 517-551
Keywords Communication; Visual Arts and Performing Arts
Public URL