British Film Institute Names Ben Roberts New Chief Executive

Photographed by Charlie Gray
Ben Roberts

Currently deputy at the BFI, Roberts will take over from Amanda Nevill who is stepping down after 17 years.

Ben Roberts has been named the new chief executive of the British Film Institute, taking over from Amanda Nevill who announced she was standing down after 17 years at the helm. 

Roberts — who moves up from deputy, a position he has held since 2018 — was announced as the new CEO by BFI chair Josh Berger on Tuesday on behalf of the BFI's board of governors. 

"Ben is a rare talent, with broad experience and understanding of the complexities of our screen industries; from the cultural landscape and developing new voices to growing U.K. independent film; from the challenges facing the U.K. film industry to what drives the U.K.’s success as a global destination for filmmakers," said Berger. "Ben is a passionate advocate for inclusion and has already done much to steer our industry towards better representation and accessibility. Going forward, the BFI has an important role in shaping the exciting cultural and commercial opportunities presented by the broader screen industries and Ben is the person to lead this."

Prior to becoming deputy, Roberts joined the BFI in 2012 as director of its film fund. 

“I’m eternally grateful to Amanda for bringing me into the BFI, and to Josh and the board for supporting my vision for its future," said Roberts. "Film is egalitarian, and I want everyone to see the BFI as their home, to see themselves in our programs, and feel welcome in our industry. We need all the diversity of voice, thought and talent to maximize the potential of the UK’s growing screen industries. My 22-year-old self used the BFI library to help me find my first job in film, and so my 44-year-old self is immensely proud to lead our brilliant teams through this next chapter."

Berger praised Nevill for her "brilliant 17 years transforming the BFI into the great organization it has become," adding that he was "delighted to find someone who can build on Amanda’s incredible legacy and take us to even greater heights in the future."

The British Film Institute is the country's leading group promoting U.K. film and television, inside the country and internationally.