Sandra Hebron to Step Down as BFI London Film Festival Artistic Director (Exclusive)

3:55 AM PST 07/01/2011 by Stuart Kemp
Samir Hussein/Getty Images

Hebron to leave the British Film Institute at the close of the festival this year.

LONDON -- Sandra Hebron, the long-standing artistic director and face of the BFI London Film Festival, is to step down after this year’s edition of the U.K.’s biggest movie shindig.

Hebron is leaving the British Film Institute at the close of the festival this year after “much deliberating and many very enjoyable years” at the business end of the British capital’s festival.

Hebron, who has been with the BFI Festivals department since 1997, is also responsible for the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.

She began her working life in academia, researching in the fields of sociology and cultural studies.

Her resume boasts a fifteen year-plus stint in independent film exhibition and she was Cinemas Director at Manchester's Cornerhouse before joining the BFI in 1997. She has made several short films, and regularly writes and broadcasts about cinema.

Hebron is well-known to filmmakers, industryites and the paying public as a popular and enthusiastic moviephile.

An announcement on her replacement following her departure might come as early as next week with a restructuring of the BFI’s exhibition arm on the cards.

Hebron said: “Heading up the BFI’s festival team has been a hugely privileged and pleasurable role. I’m very proud of everything we’ve achieved, and indebted to the many filmmakers and industry professionals who have helped us develop and raise the profile of the BFI London Film Festival.”

She told THR leaving the BFI at a time when everything is changing was a tough decision.

“I’m keen to develop my skills in new areas, and I know I leave the festivals in safe hands," Hebron said. "In the meantime, I’m very much looking forward to presenting this year’s LFF, and to attending many more in the future.”

The 55thLondon Film Festival will take place from October 12 – 27.

 

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