From the Evening Standard today:
Seven bosses on £100,000-plus at body replacing axed Film Council
This week ministers named the BFI as the future one-stop shop for British movies and handed it key duties, such as Lottery distribution, currently carried out by the Film Council.
But accounts for the year to March show the BFI, which is a charity, had as many highly-rewarded staff as the body it is replacing.
High overheads and waste at the Film Council were cited as reasons for it to go. Justifying its abolition this summer, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt had said: “It is simply not acceptable in these times to fund an organisation like the UK Film Council where no fewer than eight of the top executives are paid more than £100,000.”
In fact, two had already left. One of those remaining includes British Film Commissioner Colin Brown, who has helped to bring in £780 million of investment from foreign producers this year.
Another still in her post is Tanya Seghatchian, head of the film fund, who decides which British movies to back with £15 million of Lottery cash. Ms Seghatchian, who was on a salary of about £165,000, took a 25 per cent pay cut earlier in the year.
The BFI has three staff whose basic pay is over the £100,000 mark. They are led by director Amanda Nevill, on £137,000.
However, total packages including pensions, add a further four un-named BFI executives to the top pay bracket, making seven in total. This is more than at the Film Council, where there is a big gap between the most highly rewarded executives and the bulk of staff.
Ms Nevill’s salary is boosted by pension contributions of £20,431, according to the records from the Charity Commission.
A BFI spokesman said none of its senior managers were on anything like the highest salaries of the Film Council, where chief executive John Woodward was on a pay and pension deal of nearly £236,000 before he left a month ago.
BFI chairman Greg Dyke has already said the institute believes there will be opportunities to reduce overheads when it assumes its new duties in April. It has a staff of 463.
Shadow culture secretary Ivan Lewis claimed high salaries were never the real reason for Mr Hunt’s decision anyway.
“The truth is Jeremy Hunt axed the Film Council… to get a cheap headline,” he said.
“New administrative arrangements are no substitute for a vision to ensure Britain’s dynamic film industry is at the heart of a growth strategy for our creative industries.”