UK Film Council Awarded £12M To Company That John Woodward Will Run

The film agency tells me there’s no conflict of interest over Woodward joining venture capitalist Arts Alliance, despite it awarding an £11.5 million contract to the company in 2005. UK Film Council selected an offshoot of Arts Alliance, the company which Woodward joins in November, to install a UK nationwide digital cinema circuit. That contract hasn’t expired yet. Arts Alliance founder Thomas Hoegh is a board member of the UK Film Council, although he wasn’t when the contract was awarded. The UKFC tells me that Woodward was not involved in the decision to award Arts Alliance the £11.5 million contract. But the Film Council’s position hasn’t mollified filmmakers I’ve spoken to. “Everyone I have spoken to is absolutely fuming about it,” says one producer. “You can dress it up whatever way you like — Woodward was influential in every funding decision there.” “Was it really possible for the UKFC to make an award of nearly £12 million without the chief executive being involved?” asks another. UK culture minister Ed Vaizey, whose government department oversees the UKFC, declined to comment.

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