Koch Media executive to take up senior BFI role from February.

Koch Media and former Curzon Artificial Eye exec Ben Luxford has been appointed to the new role of head of UK audiences at the BFI.

Reporting to BFI Film Fund director Ben Roberts, Luxford will start in the job on Feb 16.

According to the BFI Luxford will focus on the most effective use of the BFI’s Lottery levers to grow audiences for British and specialised film.

Luxford will work closely with Roberts and the Film Fund’s new UK Audiences team which encompasses the Distribution Fund, the Programme Development Fund, the Film Festivals Fund and support for the BFI Film Audience Network and BFI Neighbourhood Cinema.

Luxford joins the BFI from distributor Koch Media where he is currently head of distribution. He will continue to oversee the current slate – including the Film Fund-supported family comedy Bill and drama X+Y - during his transition to the BFI.

Before joining Koch, Luxford was head of theatrical distribution at leading independent UK distributor, Curzon Artificial Eye, where he was responsible for approximately 25 film campaigns a year. Prior to Curzon, Luxford was theatrical sales manager at UK distributor Optimum Releasing (now StudioCanal).

Ben Roberts, director of the BFI Film Fund, said: ”This role is absolutely key to achieving our ambitions for growing audiences for British and specialised film. Ben brings an intelligent, instinctive approach to audience development, and his experience from the coalface will provide invaluable support for exhibitors and distributors. I’m really looking forward to having him on board.“

Ben Luxford, head of UK audiences, said:  “There has never been a more necessary time for the BFI to create a joined up approach to reaching new audiences in order to react to the emerging opportunities in the film landscape. I can’t wait to get started.”