Joe Oppenheimer Named Acting Head Of BBC Films In Wake Of Christine Langan Exit


The BBC has confirmed the departure of BBC Films boss Christine Langan, who is leaving to become chief exec of Steve Coogan’s Baby Cow Productions, as Deadline reported in July. BBC Films’ commissioning executive, Joe Oppenheimer, will serve as acting head of the division while the organization searches for Langan’s replacement.

Industry stalwart Langan, a popular figure in the UK film and TV business, will leave the public funding body in good stead when she officially steps down in October. During her 10 years leading the department, she shepherded more than 70 independent British films most recently including John Crowley’s Oscar-nominated Brooklyn; Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake, which won the Cannes Palme d’Or earlier this year; as well as Simon Curtis’ My Week With Marilyn; Lynne Ramsay’s We Need To Talk About Kevin; and Stephen Frears’ Philomena, which was co-produced with Baby Cow.

BBC director-general Tony Hall described Langan as “collaborative, ambitious, a brilliant enabler of ideas — a great ambassador for the country’s film industry.”

Langan said of her departure: “BBC Films is a precious recourse to independent filmmakers in the UK and audiences everywhere. It’s been a truly great privilege and very fulfilling experience to run the division and I’m extremely grateful, both to the BBC for the wonderful opportunity and to an amazingly hardworking and dedicated team, without whom it wouldn’t have been possible.”

Coogan established Baby Cow in 1999 with Henry Normal who announced his exit earlier this year. At the same time, BBC Worldwide increased its stake in the company to 73%. The outfit has a successful track record in scripted series, particularly comedies like The Trip To Italy, Moone Boy and Gavin And Stacey.

Langan began her career in TV at Granada, producing ITV dramedy Cold Feet.

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