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London Film Festival Director Clare Stewart to Take Yearlong Sabbatical

Clare Stewart will take a break from running the BFI London Film Festival, with Tricia Tuttle filling in as artistic director in 2018. Stewart has run six editions of the London fest but will miss 2018 as she takes a year-long sabbatical.

In other moves sparked by Stewart’s year out, Anne-Marie Flynn, currently head of business and industry, will become the festival’s interim managing director. Tuttle and Flynn will also oversee BFI Flare, a festival devoted to LGBT films

Stewart, an Australian, is credited with reinvigorating the London Film Festival. Her tenure as festival director has seen the scope of the event broadened beyond Central London theaters to neighborhoods throughout the capital and across the rest of Britain.

The festival’s spot on the calendar has also recently turned it into a prime platform for launching Oscar campaigns. The 61st edition of the festival in October 2017 with Andrew Garfield-starrer “Breathe.”

“Anne-Marie and Tricia have been instrumental in successfully implementing changes which have dramatically increased the reach and impact of LFF and Flare,” Stewart said Friday. “I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved together and I am entirely confident they will provide strong leadership for BFI Festivals in the year ahead.”

“Over the past six years, Clare’s impact on our festivals has been fantastic, particularly raising our game on the international stage and crucially increasing audiences in London and across the U.K.,” added Heather Stewart, BFI’s Creative Director. “I wish Clare a fruitful and fulfilling sabbatical, and I also look forward to the opportunity to work more closely with Anne-Marie and Tricia.”

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