Channel 4 and British film
: an assessment of industrial and cultural impact, 1982-1998

  • Laura Margaret Jayne Mayne

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis is an historical investigation of Channel 4’s influence on the British film industry and on British film culture between 1982 and 1998. Combining archival research with interview testimony and secondary literature, this thesis presents the history of a broadcaster’s involvement in British film production, while also examining the cultural and industrial impact of this involvement over time. This study of the interdependence of film and television will aim to bring together aspects of what have hitherto been separate disciplinary fields, and as such will make an important contribution to film and television studies.

In order to better understand this interdependence, this thesis will offer some original ideas about the relationship between film and television, examining the ways in which Channel 4’s funding methods led to new production practices. Aside from the important part the Channel played in funding (predominantly low-budget) films during periods when the industry was in decline and film finance was scarce, this partnership had profound effects on British cinema in the 1980s and 1990s. In exploring these effects, this thesis will look at the ways in which the film funding practices of the Channel changed the landscape of the film industry, offered opportunities to emerging new talent, altered perceptions of British film culture at home and abroad, fostered innovative aesthetic practices and brought new images of Britain to cinema and television screens.
Date of AwardSept 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Portsmouth
SupervisorJustin Smith (Supervisor) & Paul McDonald (Supervisor)

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