EXCLUSIVE: BFI beefs up audience team; Stolz, Berg to depart.

The BFI has carried out an internal restructure as part of a move aimed at boosting the organisation’s audience development strategy.

As part of the shift, the BFI has created the new - currently advertised - position of head of UK wide audiences. The executive will head up the seven-strong audience team and report directly to BFI Film Fund director Ben Roberts.

The changes will see the departure in October of Alex Stolz, the architect of many of the UKFC and BFI’s distribution funding initiatives, most recently in the role of head of distribution.

Eddie Berg, most recently director of partnerships, is also to leave. Berg joined the BFI as artistic director responsible for the creative leadership and business operations of the National Film Theatre, before its expansion into becoming BFI Southbank.

Jay Arnold from the audiences team and Carol Clarke are also among departures.

Roberts, who praised all departing staff for their “invaluable” contribution, explained the new role to Screen:

“The new position is a very big role. We’re looking for someone who can bring together all the Lottery levers we have at our disposal to build audiences. That goes beyond distribution into festivals, exhibition and community cinema as well.”

“We’re looking for someone who can bring some marketplace experience to the challenge of growing audiences for specialised film,” he continued. “It’s a role I want to sit very closely alongside those of colleagues in production and development. It’s a key post that will help glue our activities together.”

Roberts said the BFI would welcome international as well as national applicants for the position.

Working to the head of audiences will be two senior managers, Ann Griffiths who will look after exhibition-focused support and activity, including leading on the continued growth of the BFI FAN; and Katie Ellen who will work across the distribution and festivals funds. 

Two audience managers - Clare Harwood and Sarah-Jane Meredith will work with cinemas and venues and two audience coordinators will support the team, one of whom will be Laura Glanville.

Senior manager Liane Gillett will be tasked with looking at the operational effectiveness of Lottery funding and partnership activity across the Film Fund. Gillett will work with two OPPs (Operations, Projects & Partnerships) coordinators, one of whom is Lindsay Alexander.

Vivien Muller-Rommel, who was already part of the Distribution Fund, is moving into a full time role as International coordinator working with the BFI’s head of International, Isabel Davis.