After a career at the BFI spanning 30 years, Heather Stewart is to step down in September 2021 from her current role as Creative Director. She will take on a new position as BFI Director Emeritus.

As Director Emeritus Stewart will continue to be an ambassador and advisor to the BFI, with a focus on strategic archive development and worldwide fundraising and philanthropic engagement. She will continue to contribute to the BFI’s cultural programme as a guest curator, speaker and writer.

Heather Stewart said “I love the BFI, and I’m very proud of what we have achieved.  I inherited an incredible legacy to build on, and hope my successors will feel the same. All I ever want is for people to be able to expand their horizons by seeing great films.”

Ben Roberts, BFI Chief Executive, said: “We are indebted to Heather’s commitment to expanding our appreciation of cinema, her advocacy for the continued care and investment in the BFI National Archive and always challenging the status quo – within the BFI and across the cultural landscape. I have learnt an incalculable amount from Heather and I’m delighted that she will continue to support and advocate for the BFI in a role which recognises her long contribution.”

Martin Scorsese, filmmaker said “Heather has worked tirelessly to ensure the long term safety of the world class film collection held by the BFI National Archive. Through the outstanding preservation and restoration programme of the BFI, audiences across the world have the chance to rediscover and enjoy British film. We wish Heather well in the next phase.”

Sir Steve McQueen, artist and filmmaker said “Heather has made an amazing contribution to film culture in the UK, developing the BFI National Archive, the public programme at the National Film Theatre, in festivals, and online, and Sight & Sound. All are world class. Her sincere belief in public service, and making sure that everyone has a chance to engage with great film, has meant that literally millions of ordinary people across the UK have been able to enjoy their film history, and history as lived through film.  I wish her well, and hope we will still work together in the future.”

Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas, filmmakers said “Heather’s incredible knowledge and love for film culture will be missed enormously.  Her advocacy and hard work has meant that audiences today can enjoy real film, on the big screen, all around the world. It’s been a privilege to support Heather’s outstanding commitment to the art of film. We look forward to seeing what she does next.”


Jon Creamer

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