The University of Portsmouth’s School of Creative Arts, Film and Media launched its major new research on Channel 4’s impact on British film culture at a special event on 19 May.
This first major assessment of the output of Film Four is being led by Dr Justin Smith and Professor Paul McDonald. They won a £385,555 grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council for the four-year project. For further information go to:
Among the guests at the launch party was Linda Kaye, Research Executive of the British Universities Film and Video Council who are project partners. She said, ‘We’re very excited about the BUFVC’s role in the project’, which is to digitise the full-run of Channel 4’s weekly press information packs for web publication. ‘It should prove an invaluable resource for film and media researchers’. Channel 4’s Controller of Film and Drama, Tessa Ross, sent her best wishes from the Cannes Film Festival, where the Film4 team were supporting entries including Mike Leigh’s latest Another Year.
As part of the celebrations of Channel 4’s unique contribution to British film culture, the Portsmouth project is announcing ‘FourThoughts’ – an opportunity to share your own memories from almost thirty years of Channel 4 film broadcasting. Dr. Smith said: “Channel 4’s impact on British film culture, in all it guises, has been immense. Everyone is invited to contribute their own reflections on its richness and diversity by posting their personal favourites on Twitter”.
Use hashtag #film4project
The project will also fund two PhD students to trawl the archives at Channel 4 and the British Film Institute library and interview key broadcasting figures. A third researcher will study BBC Films’ copycat strategy, drawing on their archives at Caversham in Berkshire.
The team are already making plans for a major conference to coincide with Channel 4’s 30th anniversary in November 2012, which will bring together film and television academics with industry professionals and policy-makers.
PROJECT LEADERS PROF. PAUL MCDONALD, DR. JUSTIN SMITH AND THE BUFVC’S RESEARCH EXECUTIVE LINDA KAYE, ARE JOINED BY HEAD OF THE SCHOOL OF CREATIVE ARTS, FILM AND MEDIA, DR. ESTHER SONNET, TO MARK THE LAUNCH OF CHANNEL 4 AND BRITISH FILM CULTURE.