The BFI has announced that BFI Festivals Director Tricia Tuttle has decided to step down from her role after 10 years at the organisation.
Tuttle will deliver this year’s highly anticipated edition of the BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express, and remain in post through to early 2023 while the BFI recruits.
For the last five years Tricia has led the BFI London Film Festival and BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival as Festivals Director; previously she was Deputy Head of Festivals from 2013-17.
BFI Chief Executive, Ben Roberts, said: ‘Tricia has been the driving force behind the BFI London Film Festival’s transformation over the last five years and it could not be more vital and important than right now.
“I want to thank her for her creative leadership in adapting the LFF and BFI Flare in the face of huge external challenges, creating genuine UK-wide access physically and digitally, putting us on the international stage and of course bringing audiences incredible film experiences.
“Most importantly Tricia is a super smart, generous and collaborative leader and colleague. She leaves an incredible team behind her, and we will celebrate her success at her final festival this year.’
Jason Wood, BFI Executive Director of Programming and Audiences, said: “I have to say that on a personal and professional level I was incredibly sad to learn of Tricia’s decision to leave. It was one of my ambitions to work with her.
“And I am grateful that I finally got to realise it. An incredibly progressive and inclusive collaborator, her exceptional taste, commitment to new and established voices and forms of storytelling has been truly inspirational.
“She leaves the BFI London Film Festival in an exceptional position and will go on to be brilliant in whatever she does next.
“She will be warmly welcomed back at any time.’
Tuttle added: “I have loved everything about my time at the BFI and as the Director of our Festivals. It’s been a deep and genuine privilege to lead BFI London Film Festival and BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival, and to be a senior leader in an organisation that has shaped me as a passionate film fan and a professional working in film.
“I took the role knowing that I believe in cultural renewal. I came in to make an impact quickly, with an aim to open up our festivals to more people and then pass the baton.
“And I could not be more proud of what we have achieved in these 5 years, especially given the absolutely wild challenges we have faced! I am leaving on a high and with so much love for the people and the work of the organisation.’
Taking the helm, Tuttle devised an ambitious and successful new five-year strategy for the BFI London Film Festival.
This resulted in audiences growing by 76% since 2019, a new footprint in London and across the UK, including new Gala venue The Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, XR and Immersive exhibition LFF Expanded and a UK-wide programme playing in venues in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England, with 39% of audiences coming from outside London in 2021 compared to 10% in 2019.
Major new developments as part of Tuttle’s strategy include the expansion of the Festival programme to offer series television (LFF Series), immersive and XR work (LFF Expanded) alongside film; an enhanced industry programme designed to bring international creatives to the Festival to discover and connect with UK talent; and a major audience outreach programme that includes expansive free and UK-wide physical and digital programming via BFI Player.