Bruce-Smith joined Film4 13 years ago as Commercial and Distribution Manager, before moving into her current role as Head of Commercial and Brand Strategy. Her new position will involve increased commercial, strategic and management responsibilities and bring her more fully across the strategic direction of Film4 within both Channel 4 and the wider industry.
Director of Film4 Daniel Battsek, who joined the company in July 2016, says Bruce-Smith “has been so intrinsic to so much of what Film4 does for many years now and a tremendous support to me personally. I’m delighted to recognize this part of Sue’s role formally, and have every confidence in her ability to take on more responsibility for shaping Film4’s future direction.”
Dark, who will join F4 from the BFI Film Fund in January, will focus on debut features and new talent — hallmarks of the Film4 brand — reporting to Head of Creative Ollie Madden. Dark previously worked as a producer with Stray Bear Productions, where she produced Michael Pearce’s Film4/BFI backed debut feature Beast with Ivana MacKinnon and Kristian Brodie. Her other credits include Tom Harper’s War Book and the UK shoots for Diego Luna’s Chavez, Christophe Honoré’s Beloved, and Jacques Audiard’s Dheepan.
On Dark’s appointment, Madden says, “Lauren has a depth of experience both as a producer and more recently as an executive, and is widely liked and respected in the industry. I know she will make an excellent addition to our creative team.”
Further movement in the F4 ranks includes Cassandra Carias becoming Head of Legal & Business Affairs and Don McNicholl upped to Senior Legal & Business Affairs Executive. In addition, Finance Manager Suby McCarthy joins management and Nicky Earnshaw becomes Head of Physical Production.
Battsek says the promotions are in recognition “of the significant contributions each individual has made to Film4’s business and the importance of their specific roles. These internal changes along with Lauren’s arrival will boost the team, to ensure Film4 is moving forward with the requisite purpose and energy across all our projects and with all our partners in the months and years ahead.”
Film4 is known as a home for high-quality commercial and critically successful titles and is a major developer of talent. It had a busy fall festival season with a slate that includes Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Killing Of A Sacred Deer, Sebastián Lelio’s Disobedience, Clio Barnard’s Dark River and Paddy Considine’s Journeyman. Films in post include Bart Layton’s American Animals, Lanthimos’ The Favourite, Stephen Merchant’s Fighting With My Family, Mike Leigh’s Peterloo, Steve McQueen’s Widows, Tinge Krishnan’s Been So Long, Iain Morris’s The Festival and Asif Kapadia’s Maradona.