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Lionsgate’s Zygi Kamasa to Chair BFI Commission on Independent Film

Variety logo Variety 7/11/2017 Stewart Clarke
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The BFI will examine the health of Britain’s independent sector and has formed a new commission to carry out the work, with Lionsgate U.K. and Europe boss Zygi Kamasa at the helm.

The Commission on U.K. Independent Film is charged with studying the indie sector and issuing recommendations on how its future prospects – at home and abroad – could be safeguarded and improved.

The work of the commission is part of the BFI’s wider five-year plan for U.K. film, which falls under the BFI2022 umbrella.

The panel will ask producers, sales agents, distributors, and exhibitors to give evidence over the coming months, before reporting its findings this fall.

The BFI said that while production is up and British indies have a profile on the international stage, screening at festivals and in theaters around the world, “the challenges facing independent U.K. film are more pronounced than ever.”

The commission members will be announced later this month. Independent producers association PACT, the U.K. Cinema Association, and Film Distributor’s Association will all be involved in the investigation.

“Film in the U.K. is booming and the role of the BFI is to ensure that independent film – the incubator of creativity – flourishes in this environment,” said Josh Berger, BFI CEO.

“We are delighted Zygi Kamasa will be leading the BFI U.K. Independent Film Commission as chair and we look forward to hearing from a range of voices, drawing from their experience and expertise.”

The BFI recently outlined some of the staffing and training challenges facing the wider film business in Britain, and has embarked on a £20 million ($26 million) initiative to get 10,000 workers into the business.

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