British Film Institute - 3 x Governors

Body: British Film Institute
Appointing Department: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Sectors: Business, Finance & Skills, Culture, Media & Sport
Location: Board and Committee meetings are usually held at the BFI, 21 Stephen Street, London W1T 1LN.
Skills required: Accountancy, Audit and Risk, Business / Commercial, Change Management, Communication / Media / Marketing, IT / Digital
Number of Vacancies: 3
Remuneration: Board appointments are not remunerated, but reasonable expenses are paid.
Time Requirements: Successful candidates will need to spend time familiarising themselves with the BFI and its workings and keeping that knowledge up to date. The Board meets six times a year, with most meetings and associated activities lasting half a day and one meeting usually spent away from the BFI for a full day. Most Governors also serve on one or more committees or advisory groups, each meeting around three to four times a year. Additional time will be required to study papers, to attend events at the BFI, including fundraising events.


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

Jay Hunt, Michael Birshan, and Eleanor Whitley appointed as Governors of the British Film Institute.

Date: 17/02/2020

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    18/09/2019 at 10:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date

    Interviews to be held on 18th and 21st November

  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport would like to invite applications for new Governor roles at the British Film Institute (BFI) with expertise in the following areas:

 –           Interactive Media Sector;

–           Platforms and online Content;

–           Finance and Strategic Development


Role of Governors

 The role of the Governors is primarily to develop BFI strategy and oversee implementation of policy, as well as provide constructive challenge to the organisation in order to support it in achieving its strategic aims.  A Governor should have a commitment to the objectives of the BFI and champion the BFI’s charitable work, and act as an advocate for the BFI, including assisting with activities to generate funding from the corporate sector, trusts and foundations and philanthropy. Furthermore, the Governors will support the BFI to achieve value for money and sustainability across its activities.


Person Specification

Essential Criteria

ROLE 1: Interactive Media Sector

  •  An experienced practitioner in immersive or interactive content, with experience of attracting new audiences through one or more of the following: narrative video games, interactive film or television, or other emerging technology-driven media;
  • A passion for how the BFI can support interactive content with commercial potential; and
  • An appreciation of the importance and cultural value of film, TV, interactive content and video games.


ROLE 2: Platforms and Online Content

  • Strong relationships with and/or senior leadership role within an SVOD platform, streaming service, online content platform (e.g. FAANG) with an expert understanding of audience behaviours, developing technologies and with contacts across the sector;
  • Understanding of how the SVOD platforms are changing the landscape for TV and film, and how the BFI can engage with streaming services and online content;  
  • A passion/vision for how the BFI can support film and TV beyond traditional platforms and distribution methods, across all its activities;
  • An understanding of how the platforms can support the work of the BFI; and
  • An appreciation of the importance and cultural value of film, TV, online video content. 


ROLE 3: Finance and Strategic Development

  • The successful candidate will be a qualified accountant or similar with senior management experience;
  • Understanding of corporate governance including risk management and financial control;
  • Experience in the development of strategic business plans to support the Board Chair and the Chief Executive;
  • Experience in preparing business budgets and forecasts and an understanding of operational management and risk; and
  • The successful candidate will also serve as Chair of the Finance Committee.


General Criteria

 The BFI is looking for candidates who will be able to demonstrate the following additional criteria:

  • A commitment to increasing diverse and inclusive representation on screen and in the screen industries;
  • A commitment to improving skills and education in the screen industries;
  • A comprehensive network that would help the BFI forge new relations, encourage innovation, collaboration and broader external relations that would allow the organisation to realise its strategic aims
  • An understanding of and commitment to the objectives and work of the BFI;
  • Strategic decision-making ability, comprising financial management, understanding and analysis of trends in the broader screen industries and ensuring that the BFI is connected to emerging opportunities in this area;
  • A good understanding of the challenging self-generated income needs of the BFI with a focus on driving greater commercialisation and support of fundraising initiatives;
  • Excellent communication and representational skills.  The ability to provide an industry perspective and check and challenge the Executive as required; and 
  • The ability to contribute to Board-level discussion and wider policy and strategy development


Additional Information

Term of Appointment

The appointment is for a period of up to four years with the possibility of re-appointment at the end of that term.



The BFI is a Royal Charter Charity that was established in 1933.  The cultural and industrial role that the BFI plays in modern society is now more pertinent than ever before.  After nearly a decade of growth and critical success, UK screen industries are thriving. This is an exciting time to be joining the BFI’s Board of Governors. In November 2017 the BFI launched its five-year plan, BFI 2022, designed to help shape the organisation’s next chapter for film, television, animation and the moving image so the BFI can seize all the opportunities – cultural and economic – that this dynamic arena offers.


BFI 2022 focuses on the future, rises to embrace and support the fast evolving technological creative arena and the new post-referendum opportunities and challenges.  The strategy is underpinned by a wider interpretation of film to embrace new forms; a sustained commitment to diversity; and a series of new initiatives devolving more decision-making and funding to create more opportunity across the English regions and the Nations.


As the Government’s lead agency for the moving image, the BFI has a crucial role to play to ensure that the screen industries have enough skilled, motivated and creative individuals to meet creative, cultural and every increasing production demands.  The BFI achieves this by:

  • Curating and presenting the greatest international public programme of World Cinema for audiences; in cinemas, at festivals and online;
  • Caring for the BFI National Archive – the most significant film and television archive in the world;
  • Actively seeking out and supporting the next generation of filmmakers;
  • Ensuring that our screen industries reflect and include diverse and inclusive talent; and
  • Working with Government and Industry to make the UK the most creatively exciting and prosperous place to make film internationally.


For more information about the BFI and for a list of current Governors, please visit the About the BFI section of the BFI’s website:


How to Apply

Applications should be made by submitting:

  • a CV of no more than two pages setting out details of your education and qualifications, employment history, directorships, membership of professional bodies and details of any publications or awards;
  • a supporting statement, also of up to two pages which sets out how you meet the essential criteria of the role.
  • You should also complete the conflict of interest and the political activity/diversity monitoring form. The diversity monitoring form will be kept separately from the main form and will not be seen by the selection panel in order to meet the Cabinet Office’s Governance Code on Public Appointments.


Please return your completed applications to: and put ‘BFI in the subject line and indicate which role you are applying for.

If you have any questions about the Public Appointments Process please contact:


DCMS promotes an equal opportunities policy.  Appointments are made on merit, following a fair and transparent process, and these appointments are regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.  Applications are welcomed regardless of gender, age, marital status, disability, religion, ethnic origin, political opinion, sexual orientation or whether or not you have dependents.  More details, including the regulations that appointing bodies are required to follow, are available at the OCPA website:


All applicants are expected to have adhered to the Seven Principles of Public Life


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