WIMF was always conceived as a world-class festival and high profile artists as Patrons would help establish this intent.
Curiously the first Patron, the late Lord Birkett. was not a household name, but someone greatly respected in the film, theatre, and musical worlds. An important film producer working with Harold Pinter, and Peter Brooke, he became Peter Hall’s right hand in setting up the National Theatre, and subsequently as an arts supremo for the GLC responsible for distributing grants to all the major opera, theatre, dance companies and orchestras. As Executive Director of the Royal Philharmonic Society, Chairman of BAFTA, and numerous arts bodies he had weight and much useful advice to give.