Melanie Hoyes appointed as BFI Director of Inclusion

As Director of Inclusion, Melanie will have overall responsibility for driving forward delivery of our ambitious inclusion work.

28 March 2024

Melanie Hoyes

The BFI has appointed Melanie Hoyes as Director of Inclusion. Having been central to the inclusion team since 2019, Melanie will continue to report to BFI Chief Executive Ben Roberts and have overall responsibility for driving forward delivery of the organisation’s ambitious inclusion work, an integral part of the BFI’s 10-year strategy Screen Culture 2033.  

Melanie joined the BFI to lead a ground-breaking research project for the BFI’s 2016 Black Star season in 2016. Developing a new data methodology, she was able to map historic ethnic diversity in onscreen representation in UK film. Melanie then joined the BFI’s Inclusion Team becoming Head of Inclusion in 2022 and has built a reputation in the UK and internationally for spearheading innovative inclusion work.  

While at the BFI, she has led on modernising the BFI Diversity Standards which have been adapted by both BAFTA and AMPAS; developed a series of programmes which have opened up opportunities for Black and global majority filmmakers to build their careers in the UK and internationally; championed the BFI’s ongoing anti-racism work; and refocused how the inclusion team supports colleagues and activity across the organisation.  

Melanie also sits on various Boards and committees (EWA and The Film and Television Charity’s Inclusivity Committee), is the Europe Council Lead for the Geena Davis Institute and is the co-editor of the Black Film Bulletin section in Sight and Sound magazine. In this role she will lead the inclusion team, including Miranda Gower-Qian and Clare Baines as Inclusion Partners, and will closely work alongside the BFI Chief Executive, the BFI Executive Board, BFI Chair Jay Hunt and industry partners.  

Screen Culture 2033 sets out a commitment to transform access to its programmes and opportunities. This includes setting new Inclusion Targets for the projects funded by the BFI, the work it promotes and the people the BFI employs. Equity, diversity and inclusion are an underlying strategic principle of the BFI’s activities, and how it supports the sector. As Director of Inclusion, Melanie advises on inclusive practices across the BFI, including its National Lottery programmes, and developing strategies and creative spaces that ensure the BFI’s work is impactful, beneficial and relevant in terms of striving to achieve genuine equity, diversity and inclusion.  

An influential advocate for inclusion work externally, Melanie will continue to build partnerships across the UK screen sectors, using research and data to inform best practice. She will seek to implement an inclusion strategy which supports a culture for diversity and inclusion work that is dynamic, community and care focused, disruptive and innovative, authentic and rooted in professional expertise, data and lived experience.  

“Mel has steered our inclusion work with conviction and passion and I am delighted to work closely with her in this newly promoted post,” says Roberts. “We are committed to creating opportunities and spaces for everyone, to holding accountability in our anti-racism practice, and sharing our work openly with industry partners around the world. Mel is rightly recognised as an expert in her field, and continues to be an inspiring and generous leader for the sector. I’m grateful to Mel and her team for their commitment to this work.”  

“It is a privilege to continue to work towards equitable opportunities for persistently marginalised talent at the BFI alongside Ben and incredible colleagues,” says Hoyes. “There is plenty to do but I look forward to focusing on and partnering with an intersection of communities that most need our attention, holding them and my team with care as we navigate this work with authenticity and joy.”