BFI appoints Isabel Davis to Head of International

At last night’s UK celebration event at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival – which features over 30 films with UK involvement in its official selection, including eight productions backed by the BFI Film Fund – the BFI announced that Isabel Davis is to take up a newly expanded role, Head of International.

BFI Press

Isabel’s enhanced role reflects the BFI’s new integrated international strategy, coordinating the full range of the organisation’s activity from cultural exchange through to international co-production. Isabel will take a strategic overview of all international activity at the BFI and that of its funded external partners, including inward investment and film export activity and working across talent and skills, policy and strategy. She will be the BFI lead on international, working collaboratively with Government, the film industry in the UK and internationally, trade associations, and the BFI’s partners.

Isabel remains a key part of the BFI Film Fund’s editorial team with a specific focus on tracking high-calibre international filmmaking talent who might partner creatively with the UK, and exemplary UK projects with international co-production opportunities. She will continue to represent the UK’s co-producing interests internationally, playing a key role in the negotiation of co-production treaties and maintaining and fostering co-production relationships with all of the UK’s partner countries. She continues to report to Ben Roberts, Director of the BFI Film Fund, the UK’s largest public film fund with a current budget of £18m per year, set to rise to £24m by 2017.

Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI, said: “The BFI is hugely ambitious for British film on the international stage, and we fully understand the importance of focusing on this significant growth area for the benefit of UK PLC. Isabel has a thorough understanding of the international film arena and I know she will be a universally popular appointment to this important role.”

Ben Roberts, Director of the BFI Film Fund, added: “Isabel is an extremely well-liked and much respected executive in the international film community. She is a big asset for the BFI and the UK industry. Congratulations to her on this strengthened role that will help us deliver a fruitful international strategy on behalf of UK film.”

Isabel Davis said: “Bringing together the commercial and cultural interests of British film at the BFI has provided a unique opportunity to enhance our international profile across the cultural, creative and commercial spectrum. This is a fantastic chance to look afresh at UK film internationally and I look forward to working with our partners to achieve this.”

Isabel transferred to the BFI in April 2011 after originally joining the UK Film Council in late 2006. As Senior Executive, International for the BFI Film Fund, Isabel has combined editorial duties with representing the UK’s co-producing interests internationally. She has led industry delegations to Brazil, India, Russia and Morocco as well as working closely with partners in France, Germany, Spain, Italy and many others, bringing together filmmakers and financiers. 

Prior to joining the UK Film Council, Isabel was Head of Development at HomeRun Film Development, during which time she developed a slate of film projects and contributed to the development of the hit TV series Doc Martin. In 2004-5, Isabel produced the short film You Can Run… , directed by the acclaimed theatre director Lucy Bailey.

Before working in film, Isabel worked in various roles in theatre and the performing arts, including press, fundraising and general management. She holds a postgraduate diploma in Arts Administration and an MA (Hons) in French Language and Literature.

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