John Woodward will become managing director of the European venture capital company that invests in digital film next month. Woodward has said in public that if he was starting over he would get involved in digital film rights aggregation. Arts Alliance’s investments include LoveFilm — the UK version of Netflix — and it has overseen the digital conversion of over 700 digital screens across Europe, with over 2,300 screens signed up. Five Hollywood studios have signed deals with Arts Alliance to let it handle digital releasing of their movies. The UK Film Council is set to be abolished in April 2012. Further details of what will replace it are expected later this week.

London (October 11, 2010) – John Woodward, Chief Executive of the UK Film Council, has today been named Managing Director of Arts Alliance, the European media venture capital company.

Arts Alliance, the privately-owned investment group, has founded a number of fast-growing media businesses in recent years including LOVEFiLM International, the European market leader in online films, and Arts Alliance Media, the digital cinema infrastructure company. It also founded the Met Film School, offering film-related degree courses to students from around the world.

The investment group has backed a number of media businesses such as City Screen, the UK’s largest independent cinema operator, and digital companies including Kenshoo, the search marketing platform, and

Thomas Høegh, founder of Arts Alliance and partner in Høegh Capital Partners, said Woodward’s industry experience would help identify new investment and business development opportunities for the firm.

“John has helped to build a successful British film industry,” said Høegh. “His deep understanding of the sector and his ability to nurture growth opportunities will enable Arts Alliance to build new companies and expand its media portfolio in the years ahead.”

Woodward will take up his new role in November, following his departure from the UK Film Council. During 10 years at the British Government’s lead film agency, Woodward oversaw funding support for UK productions that generated more than £700 million in worldwide box office revenues.

In addition to his role as Managing Director of Arts Alliance, Woodward will become the Chairman of both Arts Alliance Media and the Met Film School, Britain’s largest private film school. Woodward said: “I am delighted to be joining the team at Arts Alliance, where Thomas has created one of Europe’s most entrepreneurial investment houses in the rapidly changing media industry.”