David Hamilton appointed as new BFI Director of Engagement, Marketing and Communications

David will join the BFI’s Executive Board to together lead the delivery of Screen Culture 2033, the BFI’s 10-year strategy to transform access to our programmes, screen culture and jobs across the UK.

1 February 2024

David Hamilton

David Hamilton has been appointed to the new position of BFI Executive Director Engagement, Marketing and Communication. David will report into BFI Chief Executive Ben Roberts. He will join the BFI’s Executive Board to together lead the delivery of Screen Culture 2033, the BFI’s 10-year strategy to transform access to our programmes, screen culture and jobs across the UK. With an impressive track record in the charity sector, David joins the BFI from his current role as Director of Communications and Marketing for the NSPCC

David takes up his post in May 2024 and will lead a new directorate team (Engagement, Marketing and Communication) encompassing the BFI’s marketing, press & PR, brand & design, and corporate and internal communications activities. Through the guiding principle that ‘society needs stories’ and with inclusivity and accessibility at the heart of the BFI’s mission, David’s team will ensure that the BFI’s programmes are enjoyed by the widest range of audiences, and that its work inspires a diverse range of stakeholders and partnerships.  

The BFI’s charitable activities include running the BFI National Archive, a cultural programme spanning BFI Southbank, BFI IMAX, BFI Player, the BFI London Film Festival and BFI Flare, Sight and Sound magazine and BFI distribution. As a government arms-length body, the BFI’s work also includes education, research and corporate and industry support, including its role as a National Lottery distributor and the largest public funder for film in the UK

Hamilton said: “I am thrilled to be joining the BFI as Executive Director of Engagement, Marketing, and Communications. As a lifelong film enthusiast, the BFI’s commitment to nurturing and celebrating the UK’s rich screen culture resonates deeply. I look forward to leading such a talented team and contributing to our shared vision of celebrating and elevating the diverse and vibrant stories that define our screen culture. Together, we will forge new paths, engage wider audiences, and ensure that the BFI continues to support and inspire innovation, creativity, and excellence in the screen industry.” 

Ben Roberts, BFI Chief Exec, said: “David joins the BFI at a critical time, as we begin to realise our ambitions both for the BFI’s cultural programmes and for the screen sector, including our work to strengthen independent film. I’m delighted that we will be able to benefit from his wealth of experience in marketing and communications across the charity sector, and he brings a collaborative and inclusive approach which will strengthen our collaborative efforts across the wider sector.” 

David has been Director of Communications and Marketing for the NSPCC and Childline since 2020 where he has led a team of over 100 people across public relations, media, marketing, digital comms, data, and volunteer and staff communications. Previously, he led Communications at Scouts, the largest youth movement in the UK, with over 640,000 members. There he delivered an ambitious strategy to modernise the Movement’s image, which saw the development of a new award-winning brand and record levels of engagement. 

David is a past chair of the PR and Communications Council and has been named as one of the UK’s top ten charity communicators in the PRWeek Power Book and top ten charity marketers in Marketing Week. He is a winner of the IoD PR Director of the Year award and is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPR

David joins the BFI’s Executive Board, Chaired by Chief Executive Ben Roberts and including Harriet Finney, Deputy CEO and Executive Director Corporate & Industry Affairs; Arike Oke, Executive Director Knowledge Learning & Collections; Jason Wood, Executive Director Public Programme & Audiences (including Editorial/Sight & Sound); Francesca Vinti, Executive Director Fundraising & Enterprise, Neil Williams, Executive Director Technology & Digital Transformation and Alyson Hagan, Executive Director Finance, People and Business Operations.  

Screen Culture 2033 comprises six major ambitions which will see the BFI

  • Transform its relationship with audiences across the UK and become known as an open house to all for the discovery of screen storytelling. 
  • Advocate for the value of the full breadth of screen culture including video games and interactive work. 
  • Create a screen archive of the future that is the most open in the world. 
  • Be digital-first in delivering cultural programmes through BFI+, the next generation streaming service, expanding reach and access for all. 
  • Championing screen culture in school curricula; and build a skilled and sustainable workforce that reflects the UK population. 
  • Addressing where the sector needs support in delivering public benefit most through its National Lottery funding, policy work and evidence. 

To achieve all of this the BFI will work to become more financially resilient in its approach, building on its charitable and commercial income.