‘Mamoun became the head of the (British Film Institute) Production Board and proved himself the kind of patron every artist needs. He and his committee backed Bill Douglas and so My Childhood and My Ain Folk and My Way Home were made’
Mamoun was a Member of the British Council Film, Television and Video Advisory Committee, and was asked to report on a possible grant to the International Film and Television School (EICTV) in Cuba to help pay travel and other costs of British filmmakers who might teach there. Mamoun met with the Cuban Minister of Culture, Abel Prieto, members of ICAIC and the principal of EICTV, Alberto Garcia Ferrer. The British Council agreed a grant and Mamoun invited, among others, Bill Forsyth, Jack Gold, Peter K Smith, Jennie Howarth, Maxine Baker, Faisal Qureshi, Kerry Crabbe, Peter West and Kim Hopkins (who later became Head of the Documentary Department) to give workshops in the Editing Department. The departments of Documentary, Fiction and Screenwriting followed suit.
The President of EICTV, Nobel Prize-winning novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez asked Mamoun good-naturedly “Are you planning a British invasion?”, to which Mamoun replied “I suppose I am”. Marquez responded – “Well, better than an American invasion”.
The German and French embassies in Havana complained that the British were supplanting their nationals at the school.
1991-93 UNESCO Senior Consultant
Established film training for the UNESCO Zimbabwe Film Training Project in Southern Africa at the time of apartheid.
1984 Consultant to the Australian Film Commission (AFC)
Consultant to advise the AFC on Film Australia, a large production centre that produced films for government departments as well as some independent low-budget features
1979-84 Managing Director, National Film Finance Corporation (NFFC), a Quango of the Department of Trade and Industry
Took the NFFC in a totally new direction, both in the kind of films backed and the financial support given. Historically, the NFFC had been a minority investor, between 30-40%; during Mamoun’s time, it was often the main investor.
Babylon, directed by Franco Rosso and co-written with Martin Stellman, was not only new in its subject matter (black youth in south London) but also in the NFFC’s investment of 83% of the budget. The film re-opened in the US in 2019 in 56 theatres to amazing reviews.
Bill Forsyth’s Gregory’s Girl received an investment of £100K for a budget of £168K (1980); the latest gross revenue for the film is £25 million.
1978-84 Director, National Film Finance Corporation
1977 Member of the Cinematic Films Council
Advisory body – Mamoun sat as an Independent member
1974-76 Head of Film Branch, UNRWA
Initially based in Beirut, the offices were moved during the Lebanese Civil War in 1976 to Amman. Shooting for the documentary Some of the Palestinians continued in Jordan and Syria and Lebanon, providing training for young Palestinian staff, until his departure in December 1976.
1971-74 Head of production, British Film Institute (BFI)
During two and a half years at the BFI Production Board, Mamoun’s proposal persuaded the Government to increase the budget twenty-fold to support low-budget independent production. Mamoun also created the Group Support Fund to finance the basics for filmmaking groups.
Films financed include Bill Douglas’s Childhood Trilogy (My Childhood, My Ain Folk, My Way Home), Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo’s Winstanley, Peter Smith’s A Private Enterprise, David Gladwell’s Requiem for a Village, Terence Davies’s Children, Horace Ove’s Pressure, all first features (apart from Winstanley).