NEWS: BFI Appoints Kristy Matheson as New BFI Festivals Director

The BFI have confirmed that Kristy Matheson will take on the role of BFI Festivals Director, leading the UK’s largest film festival the BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express from 4–15 October 2023, and BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival from the 2024 edition. 

Kristy will be joining the company from her recent role as Creative Director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, and previous to that was Director of Film at Australia’s national museum of screen culture ACMI.

In her new role at the BFI, Kristy will lead the Festival teams across programming, business operation and adjacent teams across the BFI including fundraising, digital, marketing, communications, finance and industry, to deliver the Festivals’ public programme – in London, across the UK and online. She will start her new role  April following her Directorship of the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2022.

Jason Wood, BFI Executive Director of Public Programme & Audiences said: “I am delighted to welcome Kristy as the BFI’s new Director of Festivals. I have been impressed by Kristy’s knowledge and passion for screen culture and the role it plays in connecting society.EIFF 2022 was an incredible success and Kristy delivered a festival broad in outlook and richly inclusive. Her vision for a wider and more sustainable festival ecology absolutely chimes with the strategic direction of the BFI and how we want our Festivals to be led – in a way that values and encourages collaboration and a democratic approach to decision making in tandem with a clear and holistic artistic vision.”

Meanwhile Kristy Matheson said: “Festivals provide filmmakers, artists and audiences with a moment to commune on a grand scale – to experience ideas, ask big questions and celebrate together. The BFI London Film Festival and BFI Flare represent the very best of this spirit, exploring the depth of UK and global cinema, nurturing new talents, profiling our screen industries and connecting audiences to innovations in the moving image.”

Kristy Matheson is a Curator and Festival Director.  In 2022 Kristy served as the Creative Director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival. She is the former Director of Film at ACMI, Australia’s national museum of screen culture.  Prior to her role on the Executive Team at ACMI, Kristy worked at the Brisbane International Film Festival, the Sydney Film Festival and Dendy Films. She served on Screen Australia’s Gender Matters Taskforce, and is a recipient of the Natalie Miller Fellowship. Kristy served on the BAFTA jury for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director, or Producer. She is a committee member for online journal, Senses of Cinema.

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