British film and television producer David Rose, who is regarded as the founding figure of public funding org Film4, has died at the age of 92.
The esteemed executive, who shepherded projects such as Stephen Frears’ My Beautiful Laundrette and Neil Jordan’s Mona Lisa, first served in the Royal Air Force before he trained as an actor at the Guildhall School of Drama. He then joined the BBC as an assistant floor manager, where he quickly worked up the ranks and started running the BBC’s English Regional Drama department in Birmingham.
There, he nurtured new creative talent and playwrights such as David Hare and Mike Leigh and was behind famous work that featured in British anthology drama series Play for Today, such as Nuts in May and Alan Clarke’s Penda’s Fen.
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In 1981, Rose was hired as head of fiction at Channel 4 where he particularly identified with the Film on Four strand, which later went on to become Film4, the public funding org which has backed development of more modern pics such as 12 Years a Slave and Slumdog Millionaire. In its infancy, Rose built Film4 by spending years forging partnerships with talented writers, directors and actors – a pillar with the org is still built upon – including Ken Loach, David Hare, Judi Dench and Alison Steadman.
Rose retired in 1990 after eight years at the helm of one of the UK’s most prominent funding bodies, helping bring projects such as My Beautiful Laundrette, Mona Lisa and Chris Bernard’s Letter to Brezhnev to the big screen.
In 2010, Rose received a BFI Fellowship for his contribution to film and television culture.
Channel 4 Chief Exec David Abraham said: “As one of the first commissioners at the very start of Channel 4, it was David’s unique vision for film which set the distinctive tone for today’s Film4. His boldness and willingness to champion new voices convinced the industry and audiences globally to pay close attention to British TV and cinema, paving the way for the success of so much of the UK talent working today. He was one of a kind and will be much missed.”
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