Heather Stewart, the long-time executive of the British Film Institute, will step down from her position as Creative Director at the organization in September 2021 and take on a new position as Emeritus BFI Director.
In her new advisory role, she will continue to be the ambassador for the BFI, which awards public funds to support British film in the areas of production, distribution and exhibition. In the future, she will focus on developing strategic archives, collecting donations from around the world, and philanthropic engagement, and will continue to contribute to the BFI’s cultural program as a guest curator, speaker and author.
The organization will hire a replacement creative director in due course.
Stewart graduated from NYU Film School and started the organization’s first home entertainment release at BFI, paving the way for the BFI’s own DVD label. She has been the creative director for a decade and oversees the strategic management of the BFI’s cultural programs. The focus is on the collections of the BFI National Archives.
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Celebrities recognizing Stewart’s tenure today include Martin Scorsese, Steve McQueen, Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas, and Ben Roberts, Chief Executive of BFI.
Martin Scorsese, Filmmaker, said: “Heather has worked tirelessly to ensure the long-term security of the world-class film collection at the BFI National Archive. The BFI’s excellent conservation and restoration program gives viewers around the world the opportunity to rediscover and enjoy British film. We wish Heather all the best in the next phase. “
Steve McQueen, artist and filmmaker, said: “Heather has made an amazing contribution to film culture in the UK, developing the BFI National Archive, the National Film Theater’s public programming, festivals and online, and Sight & Sound. All are world class. Their sincere belief in public service and ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to enjoy themselves in great film has resulted in literally millions of ordinary people across the UK enjoying their film history and the story they have lived through. I wish her all the best and hope that we will continue to work together in the future. “
Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas, filmmakers, said, “Heather’s incredible knowledge and love of film culture are hugely missed. Their advocacy and hard work have resulted in audiences today enjoying real movie on the big screens around the world. It was a privilege to support Heather’s outstanding commitment to the art of film. We look forward to seeing what she does next. “
Ben Roberts, Chairman of the BFI, said: “We are committed to heather’s commitment to broadening our appreciation for cinema, advocating for the continued maintenance and investment in the BFI National Archives and continually challenging the status quo – within the BFI and in the entire cultural field of landscape. I’ve learned an incalculable amount from Heather and I’m delighted that she will continue to support and advocate the BFI in a role that recognizes her long contribution. “
“I love the BFI and I am very proud of what we have achieved. I have inherited an incredible legacy to build on and hope that my successors do too. I just want people to be able to broaden their horizons by watching great movies, ”added Stewart.