Iain Canning and Emile Sherman’s See-Saw Films has appointed Simon Gillis to the newly created position of Head of Commercial Affairs. Gillis will take up the post ahead of the Toronto International Film Festival. He will be based in London and spearhead the film division’s commercial activities; managing business operations and strategy, leading deal making and overseeing all commercial and financial matters. Gillis joins from Universal Pictures where he served most recently as VP of Acquisitions & Production, Business & Legal Affairs, working on the development, financing, production and distribution of film and TV content. He was previously a senior lawyer at The Walt Disney Company. Academy Award winning producer of The King’s Speech, See-Saw’s next film is Lion starring Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel which premieres in Toronto and will be released by The Weinstein Co in November. The company is also in post on the John Cameron Mitchell-directed comedy How To Talk To Girls At Parties starring Kidman and Elle Fanning. It’s also behind Jane Campion’s Top Of The Lake. The second season is currently shooting with Elisabeth Moss and Kidman.
The BFI and BFI London Film Festival will award 12 Years A Slave helmer Steve McQueen with its highest accolade, the BFI Fellowship. The presentation will take place at the London Film Festival’s awards ceremony on October 15. BFI Chair Josh Berger CBE, says, “As winner of both the Turner Prize and an Academy Award, Steve is preeminent in the world of film and the moving image. He is one of the most influential and important British artists of the past 25 years and his work, both short and long-form, has consistently explored the endurance of humanity — even when it is confronted by inhumane cruelty — with a poetry and visual style that he has made his own. We are thrilled that Steve is to become a BFI Fellow.” McQueen adds, “I first walked into the BFI library and cinema 28 years ago. To think that I will now be a Fellow and honorary member, with such a distinguished list of people, is mind-blowing. I’m humbly honored.” Previous BFI Fellowships have gone to Cate Blanchett, Stephen Frears, Christopher Lee, Tim Burton, Helena Bonham Carter, David Cronenberg and Ralph Fiennes. Most recently, in February this year, Hugh Grant was also a recipient. McQueen’s credits include Hunger, which won the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. His second feature Shame, starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, won three prizes in Venice in 2011. 12 Years A Slave took three Oscars including Best Picture.