Finney joined the BFI in 2017 as director of external affairs and heads the organization’s Screen Sector Task Force, which guides industry engagement with government on issues like Brexit and policy recommendations during the pandemic, including the Production Restart Scheme, the Culture Recovery Fund, quarantine exemptions for the film and TV industries, and the recently launched U.K. Global Screen Fund.
In her expanded new role, Finney will work closely alongside BFI chief executive Ben Roberts and focus on strategic leadership of the BFI’s work with stakeholders from the cultural sector, industry and government. In this role Finney will lead on the successor to the BFI’s five-year strategy, BFI2022, and will oversee the BFI Film Fund, which will be led by Mia Bays who is joining the org in the fall as film fund director, and the Young Audiences Content Fund led by Jackie Edwards.
As part of Finney’s core team, current head of the Global Screen Fund Neil Peplow will take on an expanded role as director of industry and international affairs, with a specific focus on policy and funding interventions to drive industry growth. Peplow will also take on responsibility for the BFI’s skills strategy and the certification unit.
In addition, Rishi Coupland, currently head of data intelligence at the National Theatre, will join the BFI in July as the new head of research and insight. Coupland is tasked with developing a research program giving fresh insights into BFI audiences and trends across the sector as well as supporting the development of evidence-led policy development.
Finney said: “I’m over the moon to have been given the opportunity to broaden my remit at the BFI. Bringing our National Lottery funding alongside our policy, strategy and research work makes perfect sense. These are powerful levers for change and bring to life our commitment to make the U.K.’s screen industries and our film culture genuinely accessible and available to all.”
“Harriet and her teams have been nothing short of incredible over the past year – coordinating a strong and well-evidenced plan across industry and government to lead us out of lockdown,” Roberts added. “I love working with Harriet and I’m really thrilled that we’ll be working so closely to build a bright future for the BFI, for the sector and our screen culture.”
Prior to the BFI, Finney was deputy CEO at the Creative Industries Federation.