British Film Institute CEO Amanda Nevill to Step Down

Credit: David M. Benett / Getty
Amanda Nevill and Josh Berger

Nevill had been in the position since 2003.

The British Film Institute has announced that its CEO Amanda Nevill has decided to step down from her position in early 2020.

Nevill joined the BFI as CEO in 2003, the first female in the position, and transformed it into the U.K.'s lead organization for film, TV and the moving image and, in 2012, took on a new expanded remit as the U.K.’s National Lottery distributor for film.

“I think the real test of any job is whether at the end you still feel as much excitement and eager energy to do things and make a difference as you did on your first few months ... and I do," said Nevill.

"I have so much to be thankful for, I have learned so much, and had some of the most wonderful cultural moments that any human being could wish for. I have also been blessed with marvelous colleagues and board members and I want to thank them all. But, after 16 brilliant but incredibly busy years, I’m excited to have some time to pursue other interests and new avenues ... some of which I hope won’t be far away from this world for which I will always be a passionate advocate."

During Nevill's tenure, thanks to the efforts of the BFI and the tax incentives put in place by successive governments, the U.K. has become a major international production hub, with spend on feature films and high-end TV hitting £4.05 billion in 2018 (slightly down on 2017's record-breaking $4.29 billion). The institute has also been an early champion of efforts to increase diversity, in 2015 introducing its own Diversity Standard, which are embedded within its funding decisions and have been recently adopted by BBC Films, Film4 and BAFTA. The BFI has recently been working with U.K. authorities and organizations across Europe to reduce any impact Brexit might have on the industry. Meanwhile, films backed by the BFI (which has around $34 million each year to spend thanks to the U.K.'s National Lottery) have included Ken Loach's Palme d'Or-winning I, Daniel Blake. 

“Amanda’s contribution to the BFI has been enormous and over her 16-year tenure she has completely transformed the organisation," added BFI chair Josh Berger. "I am hugely grateful to her for her tireless championing of film and filmmaking, for both protecting our national collection of film and television — the BFI National Archive — and making it accessible to audiences, for leading the charge on greater inclusion and diversity in our industry and much, much more. Thanks to Amanda, the BFI has never been in better shape and she leaves an incredible legacy behind her, all delivered with her extraordinary energy, passion and elegance.”

The BFI Board of Governors has begun the recruitment process for the new BFI CEO.