As part of the Focus UK, an initiative carried out in collaboration with the British Film Institute (BFI), the British Council and the British Embassy in Rome, award-winning producer Paul Webster will be the protagonist of an exclusive meeting with MIA participants: X Rays on UK.
Born in the UK in 1952, he is one of the leading British film producers of his generation. His career began in 1975 at the Gate Cinema film library in London. In this context he began to make his living, working for several cinemas and for distribution in general.
The turning point as a producer occurs in the ’80s: the first produced film, ‘Dream Demon‘, is followed by a five-year collaboration with Working Title Films. This also gave rise to the film ‘The Tall Guy‘, in which two young English actors, Emma Thompson and Rowan Atkinson, took part.
In 1990 he moved to the USA to produce films with an international appeal. As he told the British newspaper ‘The Guardian’ “It is important to make films that travel (…) you can not make films addressed only to the British market”. In America he oversees successful productions such as ‘Shakespeare in Love‘ and ‘Good Will Hunting‘ and with FilmFour Ltd in 5 years, he gathers 6 Oscar nominations.
2004 was a successful year: he financed Joe Wright‘s Pride and Prejudice, which won four Oscar nominations and founded Kudos Pictures. The first production was ‘Eastern Promises‘, which won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival. The main character Viggo Mortensen receives an Oscar nomination for best actor.
Since 2010, he has funded a number of successful films, according both to the critics and the box office, including ‘Anna Karenina‘ with Keira Knightley, ‘Locke‘ with Tom Hardy and Francis Lee‘s ‘God’s Own Country‘.
Webster has lived 40 years of film history first-hand, and continues to see the seventh art as the most effective way to touch people’s hearts.