Channel 4 privatisation mooted

Could Film4's working model be under threat?

by Jennie Kermode

Upcoming Film4 release Suffragette
Upcoming Film4 release Suffragette

Its filmmaking wing, Film4, has been behind international hits from Trainspotting to 12 Years A Slave, but could Film4 now be facing changes? A recent leak has revealed that the UK government is considering privatising its parent company, Channel 4.

The leak came when freelance photographer Steve Black managed to photograph documents being carelessly carried by a government official, revealing an agreement that "work should proceed to explore the options for extracting greater public value from Channel 4... focusing on privatisation options in particular."

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport said in a statement that it has made no decisions regarding the future of the channel. Channel 4 has defended it not-for profit-model. It recently emphasised its ongoing commitment to investing in first-time filmmakers in the UK and to developing short films, often a first step into the industry.

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