The BFI has honoured its outgoing CEO Amanda Nevill with a BFI Fellowship on her last day in her role at the BFI. The surprise award was presented by BFI Chair Josh Berger at BFI Southbank last night in front of a packed cinema of industry guests and colleagues at a moving and celebratory event to mark her departure.
The Fellowship honours and celebrates Amanda’s outstanding contribution to British film, television and the moving image and pays tribute to her 17 years at the helm of the UK’s lead organisation for film. During her tenure Amanda has taken the BFI from strength to strength. Among many other achievements, she has ensured the BFI National Archive is safe and accessible for future generations, successfully taken on the role of the UK’s National Lottery distributor for film, transformed BFI Southbank into one of the coolest venues in London, launched the BFI Film Academy, VOD service BFI Player and BFI Network across the UK, and introduced the pioneering BFI Diversity Standards to the industry.
Amanda Nevill said: “Never in my wildest dreams had I imagined being gifted a BFI Fellowship. I am still in a state of mild but pleasurable shock. I hope that everyone I have worked with at the BFI will know they own a tiny bit of this award. I have always stood on giants shoulders, working for an art form and industry that is the zenith of humankind’s artistic endeavour. It also joyously means I can, with no excuse, stay close to and applaud an organisation and the people I respect and love so much.”
BFI Chair Josh Berger said: “It gives me enormous pleasure to honour Amanda Nevill with a BFI Fellowship. Amanda has driven the transformation of the BFI with boundless enthusiasm, energy and determination, and with an infectious love of cinema, television and the moving image in all its forms. The BFI is unrecognisable today from the cultural body that Amanda inherited in 2002. It is now internationally respected and revered and one which the industry and government look to for expert leadership and guidance. Culturally the BFI remains a world leader, at the vanguard of supporting British independent film and the exhibition of world cinema. Amanda is a truly exceptional leader, she has been at the apex of our industry for years, a completely inspirational figure who has highlighted the art of the possible and always embraced opportunities to mentor and empower.”
On stage tributes to Amanda at BFI Southbank last night were also made by filmmaker Paul Greengrass and BFI Trust Chair Caroline Michel (CEO of Peters Fraser and Dunlop), with actors Tom Hiddleston, Zawe Ashton and David Walliams, Working Title’s Eric Fellner, filmmakers Carol Morley and Gurinder Chadha, BFI Film Academy alumni and many others contributing to a film that celebrated Amanda’s enormous achievements across the industry.
Amanda will be joining the distinguished ranks of other BFI Fellows including Martin Scorsese, Greg Dyke, Cate Blanchett, Vanessa Redgrave, Akira Kurosawa, David Lean, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Jeanne Moreau, Stephen Frears, Steve McQueen, Peter Morgan, John Hurt and Jeanne Moreau.