The Film Diversity Action Group was founded in 2016 by experienced film and television professionals Simon Albury, Fiona Clarke-Hackston, Terry Ilott and Clive Jones. In 2000, Fiona convened, Simon chaired and Terry wrote the report of the Committee for Ethnic Minority Employment in Film for the then Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Chris Smith. The report, which was widely supported by the industry, was passed to the UK Film Council. Sixteen years later none of its six recommendations had translated into action and the proportion of black, Asian and other minority ethnic employees in the film industry languished exactly where it was. Something more needed to be done.
When we reconvened in 2016, we knew of the good work being done in this area by the BFI, Creative Skillset and others. But, while there was clearly a growing awareness of the problem of under-representation in the industry, it seemed to us that more decisive intervention was required. In particular, we needed to address employment on the films made in the UK by the Hollywood studios.
In November 2018, after 18 months of deliberations, we published a detailed report calling for the tax credits for UK film production investment to be conditional on meeting diversity targets. This proposal, It Shouldn’t Get the Money if it doesn’t have the Mix, is now the subject of consultation in the industry.
FDAG is not a representative organisation, still less a voice for the BAME communities in UK film and television. The case we make for greater diversity, while it fully acknowledges the issues of fairness and equality, is prudential rather than ethical. Put simply, the UK film industry is successful but it could be more successful still were it more diverse, especially given the vast increase in global demand for screen entertainment.
Terry Ilott (chair)
In 2000, Terry was the architect, working with civil servants at the DCMS, of the Skills Investment Fund, whereby a voluntary levy on film productions helps fund training for new entrants. He also served on the Committee for Ethnic Minority Employment in Film and was principal author of its final report, Achieving Diversity in the Film Industry. In 2005, he wrote the report of the BSAC/PACT Industry Working Group on Fiscal Policy for Film (the Hoon Committee), in response to HM Treasury’s proposed changes to the tax treatment of film production. And in 2005/6 he devised a new scheme for set-crafts training for Skillset.
Terry is principal of the consultancy boutique, Bridge Media, in which capacity he has for more than 25 years provided business development and management consultancy services to a host of film and television companies in the UK, Europe and the USA. He has written numerous papers and briefing notes on audio-visual policy at regional, national and European levels.
Terry was formerly editor of Screen International, editor of the FT’s Screen Finance, European editor of Variety, chief executive of Hammer Film Productions, and director of the Film Business Academy at the Sir John Cass Business School, City University. He has served as a governor of the British Film Institute, director of Film Education Ltd, chair of the Entertainment Policy Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce (UK), and vice-chair of the European Film College, Denmark. He was the co-author of My Indecision is Final: the rise and fall of Goldcrest Filmsand author of Budgets and Markets, a study of the budgeting of European films.
Simon is chair of the Campaign for Broadcasting Equality, a charity established in 2013 to fight racial inequality in broadcasting. It has provided extensive evidence to parliamentary committees and has been widely cited in parliamentary debates.
Simon’s commitment to diversity dates back to volunteer work in US civil rights movement in the 1960s. In 2000, he chaired the British Screen Advisory Council Committee for Ethnic Minority Employment in Film, established at the behest of Chris Smith, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. The committee produced a report and action plan, Achieving Diversity in the Film Industry. He was a member of the committee that established the ground-breaking Cultural Diversity Network for broadcasters. He was a special advisor to Nafsiyat , the intercultural therapy centre that provides psychotherapy to members of ethnic and cultural minorities. He was also the organiser of Baroness Amos’ Campaign for Multi-Cultural Programmes on Channel Four.
Simon started his television career in 1969 and was a producer of current affairs and music programmes for BBC and ITV. Later he ran the Campaign for Quality Television. He was subsequently the founding chair of the Centre for Investigative Journalism, a founding director of Meridian Broadcasting, director of public affairs at United News & Media and the chief executive of the Royal Television Society.
Fiona Clarke Hackston
Fiona was the long-time director and chief executive of the British Screen Advisory Council, the industry-funded forum for the formulation of public policy, identification of business trends and provision of thought-leadership to government, policy-makers and the audio-visual industries. In this capacity, she convened the Committee for Ethnic Minority Employment in Film on behalf of the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport in 2000. She has served variously on the national advisory board of the British Film Commission, the copyright group of the BFI, the partners board of the Copyright Hub, the Creative Industries Council, the DCMS Diversity Roundtable, and the international stakeholders’ and On Demand forums of Ofcom.
Clive Jones CBE
Clive is chair of the Runnymede Trust, the UK’s leading diversity think-tank, and chair of the Patrons of Creative Skillset, the sector skills council for television, film, publishing and new media. He was also the founder and first chair of the broadcasters’ Cultural Diversity Network.
In his 39-year career in broadcasting, Clive was variously managing director of Central Television, CEO of Carlton TV, chairman of GMTV, chief executive of ITV News and Regions and managing director of the ITV network. He was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Television Society in 1995 and the society’s Gold Medal in 2007.
Clive is currently also chair of the National Theatre of Wales and chair of the Disasters Emergency Committee, which brings together aid agencies to raise money at times of humanitarian crisis in poorer countries.