The BBC has confirmed the departure of head of BBC Films Christine Langan, who is to join Baby Cow Productions as its CEO.

Langan takes over from Baby Cow co-founder Henry Normal, who announced in April that he was leaving the comedy production indie he set up with Steve Coogan in 1999.

Joe Oppenheimer, Commissioning Executive, BBC Films, becomes Acting Head of Films. The BBC will begin recruitment for a new Head of BBC Films.

Langan joined BBC Films ten years ago as an Executive Producer and has been Head of the department since April 2009. In that time BBC Films has backed over 70 independent British films, from Simon Curtis’ My Week with Marilyn, to Lynne Ramsay’s We Need to Talk About Kevin and Stephen Frears’ Philomena.

Other films during her time as Head of BBC Films include Lone Scherfig’s An Education, Armando Iannucci’s In the Loop, Jane Campion’s Bright Star and Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank.

Most recently, Brooklyn, directed by John Crowley, was nominated for three Academy Awards and won the BAFTA for Best British Film, whilst Ken Loach’s upcoming film, I, Daniel Blake won the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Tony Hall, BBC Director-General, said: “I’ve loved working with Christine. She has a real eye for the popular as well as the idiosyncratic. She’s collaborative, ambitious, a brilliant enabler of ideas – and a great ambassador for our country’s film industry. She’s done a great job for BBC Films. We’ll miss her.”
Langan said: “BBC Films is a precious resource to independent film makers in the UK and audiences everywhere. It’s been a truly great privilege and very fulfilling experience to run the division.”

Upcoming films include Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom which will open the London Film Festival, staring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike, Lone Scherfig’s Their Finest, City of Tiny Lights, starring Riz Ahmed and directed by Pete Travis, and The Mercy from James Marsh starring Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz. The former three titles will also feature at the Toronto Film Festival, alongside Denial, The Levelling, Lady Macbeth and I, Daniel Blake.

Staff Reporter

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