British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

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.

A Film4 Timeline

Between 1982 and 1998 Film on Four directly funded over 270 productions, which provided a major boost to the British film industry and created an unprecedented bridge between television and film.

Film For All Seasons

Film on Four was the flagship strand for new feature films commissioned by Channel 4 between 1982 and 1998. Here you can browse the back catalogue, season by season, as originally broadcast.

Oral History Interviews

Tessa Ross Interview (forthcoming) 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.

Channel 4 Film Blog

During the four years of the research project ‘Channel 4 and British Film Culture’ (2010-2014) a number of writers contributed blogs on aspects of Channel 4’s film activities.

About the project

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.