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Sundance picks exec from Britain’s Channel 4 to run documentary fund

First Published      Last Updated Nov 26 2013 05:04 pm

Tabitha Jackson, arts commissiner for British TV network Channel 4, is leaving that job to become director of the Sundance Institute's Documentary Film Program and Fund.

News of Jackson's new job was broken on two UK arts-news websites, The Stage and RealScreen.

A Sundance spokesperson confirmed Thursday that the institute has selected Jackson, "but her hire is pending approval for a work visa. We look forward to making a formal announcement as soon as that process has been resolved."

At Channel 4, Jackson shepherded documentary and reality series — most recently the documentary series "The Sound of Musicals," which debuted this week in the UK, and follows the behind-the-scenes work staging a West End version of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."

Jackson will take the position at Sundance recently vacated by Cara Mertes, who has taken a job with the Ford Foundation.

In a statement, Ralph Lee, head of factual at Channel 4, said, "Tabitha has made the arts on Channel 4 truly distinctive with original commissions like 'Random Acts,' 'House Party,' 'Street Summer' and the BAFTA-winning 'In The Best Possible Taste' with Grayson Perry. She also made a real mark in documentaries backing 'The Arbour,' 'The Imposter' and 'Dreams of a Life.' We'll miss her unique output and her presence as a colleague but we wish all the best at Sundance."

UPDATE: Jackson's visa went through Friday, so her job at Sundance is now official. Here's the release.