Longtime British Film Institute CEO Amanda Nevill is stepping down from the post early next year, the BFI announced Friday. Nevill has been at the BFI, a cornerstone of the U.K. film business, since 2003.
She was the first woman at the helm of the organization. The BFI said it had already started the process of looking for her successor.
Nevill said in a statement that it was time to “pursue some other interests and avenues.” She is not thought to be leaving for another industry position.
“I think the real test of any job is whether at the end you still feel as much excitement and eager energy to do things and make a difference as you did on your first few months…and I do. I have so much to be thankful for, I have learned so much, and had some of the most wonderful cultural moments that any human being could wish for,” Nevill said.
“But,” she added, “after 16 brilliant but incredibly busy years, I’m excited to have some time to pursue other interests and new avenues, some of which I hope won’t be far away from this world for which I will always be a passionate advocate.”
BFI Chair Josh Berger credited Nevill with transforming the organization. “I am hugely grateful to her for her tireless championing of film and filmmaking, for both protecting our national collection of film and television – the BFI National Archive – and making it accessible to audiences, for leading the charge on greater inclusion and diversity in our industry and much, much more,” Berger said. “Thanks to Amanda, the BFI has never been in better shape, and she leaves an incredible legacy behind her, all delivered with her extraordinary energy, passion and elegance.”
Nevill’s successor will continue to implement an existing five-year strategy plan that runs until 2022.
Nevill was appointed CEO of the institute by Anthony Minghella in 2003. In 2011, the BFI became the lead organization for film in Britain. Last year, it outlined an initiative to support the local indie business, as well as guidelines on bullying and harassment as the industry focused on those issues.
Prior to joining the BFI, Nevill was a head of the National Museum of Photography, Film and TV, becoming a government advisor in the process. Before that, she was at the Royal Photographic Society.