Clare Stewart To Take Year-Long Sabbatical From BFI London Film Festival

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The BFI London Film Festival is under new, temporary management as Clare Stewart is set to take a year-long sabbatical. The Festival Director and BFI Head of Festivals will step down for 12 months in January 2018 with Tricia Tuttle and Anne-Marie Flynn taking over.

Tuttle, currently the Deputy Head of Festivals, will become the LFF’s interim Artistic Director and Anne-Marie Flynn, currently Head of Business & Industry, will become the LFF’s interim Managing Director. Both will report to BFI Creative Director Heather Stewart. The BFI is also recruiting a temporary Programme and Filmmaker Services Manager to round out the wider Festivals’ team.

Stewart recently closed her sixth BFI London Film Festival, which this year featured films including Andy Serkis’ Breathe and Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton’s Battle Of The Sexes starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell. Stewart has shortened the festival and added a number of UK-wide screenings as well as more headline galas. The 2017 edition attracted London audiences of 180,900 and welcomed over 900 international and British filmmakers to present their films in the programme.

Tuttle and Flynn have also both been responsible for this growth of the BFI London Film Festival and BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival. Flynn will lead the Festival’s financial, business and strategic priorities as well overseeing its production, industry-facing activities and the LFF Awards. Tuttle’s focus will be leading on the overall programme, managing the programming and filmmaker teams for both Festivals, developing new and diverse audiences and being the public face of the Festivals.

Stewart said: “Delivering both our festivals has been a truly collaborative team effort and I am fortunate to work with hugely talented colleagues on LFF and Flare. Anne-Marie and Tricia have been instrumental in successfully implementing changes which have dramatically increased the reach and impact of LFF and Flare. I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved together and I am entirely confident they will provide strong leadership for BFI Festivals in the year ahead.”

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