The Research Project
This four-year AHRC-funded project (2010-2014) is a collaboration between the University of Portsmouth and the BUFVC, assessing the impact of Channel 4 on British film culture. The project’s work has involved extensive research at Channel 4’s own archives and interviews with more than 30 current and former Channel 4 employees and film industry personnel. In partnership with the BUFVC, the full-run of Channel 4’s weekly press information packs (1982-2002) has been digitised for the benefit of media historians.
Interviews with key personnel have been vital to our research. They reveal much about Channel 4’s contribution to British film culture, and provide valuable insights into the ecology of creativity across the UK film and television industries.
The Portsmouth-based research project hosted a dedicated conference at BFI Southbank in November 2012 to coincide with Channel 4′s 30th anniversary. Members of the project team have also disseminated research findings at a number of other conferences in the UK and internationally.
Among its many innovations, the new Channel 4 made a commitment to fund feature film for broadcast on television and for selective cinema release. While some critics argued that it diminished cinema, many hailed Channel 4 as the saviour of the UK film industry.