Isabel Davis

The UK is the country of honour at this year’s Bogotá Audiovisual Market (BAM). As a large industry delegation from the UK gears up for a trip to Colombia we turn our spotlight onto Isabel Davis, BFI’s Head of International who is making the trip.

Isabel Davis

  1. What’s your connection to the British Council?
    I’m Head of International at the BFI, so work with the Film team at the British Council very frequently, as well as their colleagues in offices around the world, as we share many priorities and work together on projects such as bringing together UK and China’s film culture and industry.

    What’s your current project?
    I’m always working on a range of projects - from supporting film projects at the development and production stage, which in my case tends to mean those with an international element, such as Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Lobster, as well as working international projects and events. I’m currently working with Sarajevo and Toronto Film Festivals, planning our next stage of activity with China – and looking forward to meeting the Colombian film industry next week.

    What/who originally turned you onto film?
    Christopher Reeve in Superman.

    What has been your career high so far?
    Working with China, and looking at the scale of opportunity, across the cultural and creative spectrum, has been an immense challenge and also incredibly rewarding.

    What was your first job in the film industry?
    Temporary assistant at Pathe.

    If I knew then what I know now…
    On the business side, probably to get a legal or accounting qualification and some experience– boring but true!   Plus, no matter which part of film you’re starting out in, being as good as you can be is far more valuable than being well connected.   As with any business, the film industry is always on the lookout for good and talented people.

    What is your favourite British film?
    Sense and Sensibility – a wonderful adaptation, whose cast, script and direction do Jane Austen proud with a combination of restraint and romance that makes me cry every time I see it, which is pretty often.

    If you could have directed/been involved with any film ever made, which would it be?
    Oldboy, just to be around the genius that is Park Chan Wook.

    What’s the first film you remember seeing?
    Superman,  because of Christopher Reeve and its cutting edge visual effects.

    What’s your favourite line or scene from a film?
    “Never underestimate the power of denial” – Wes Bentley to Kevin Spacey in American Beauty – but every line and every frame of that film is pretty darn amazing.

    Favourite screen kiss?
    The Lady and the Tramp - who knew spaghetti could be so romantic?

    Who’s your favourite screen hero and/or villain?
    Heroine: Frances McDormand in Fargo.   Villain: Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men.  Oops, two Coen brothers films….

    Who would play you in the film about your life?
    Toni Collette