British Film Institute - 3x Governors

Body: British Film Institute
Appointing Department: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Sector: Culture, Media & Sport
Location: Board and Committee meetings are usually held at the BFI, 21 Stephen Street, London W1T 1LN or at different BFI locations across the UK. Governors will be free to join meetings virtually.
Skills required: Audit and Risk, Communication / Media / Marketing, IT / Digital
Number of Vacancies: 3
Remuneration: No
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 and to attend BFI events, including fundraising events.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift

    w/c 8th November

  • Final Interview Date

    w/c 13th December

  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is looking to appoint three new Governors at the British Film Institute (BFI). A further three Governors will be appointed to represent Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.  


Governors will specialise in one or more of the following areas:


  • Cultural Leadership
  • Independent Production, Distribution and Business
  • Academia, Education and Skills
  • Technology and Digital Innovation
  • Television
  • Video Games


DCMS is committed to equality of opportunity and is committed to ensuring that public appointments better represent the views of the communities which they serve. We particularly encourage applicants from underrepresented groups, those based outside London and the South-East and applicants who have achieved success through non-traditional educational routes. We want to ensure any appointee is committed to promoting diversity, in its broadest possible sense. This will include embedding a commitment to the principles of levelling up and championing opportunity for all across the organisation, helping to ensure that the organisation is one in which a genuinely diverse range of views can be expressed, without fear or favour.

About the BFI

The BFI is a Royal Charter Charity that was established in 1933.  



We believe society needs stories. Film, television and the moving image bring them to life, helping us to connect and understand each other better. We share the stories of yesterday, search for the stories of today, and shape the stories of tomorrow.



The BFI is a cultural charity, a National Lottery distributor, and the UK’s lead organisation for film and the moving image. Our mission is:

  • To support creativity and actively seek out the next generation of UK storytellers
  • To grow and care for the BFI National Archive, the world’s largest film and television archive
  • To offer the widest range of UK and international moving image culture through our programmes and festivals – delivered online and in venue
  • To use our knowledge to educate and deepen public appreciation and understanding
  • To work with Government and industry to ensure the continued growth of the UK’s screen industries



We will transform access to our programmes, screen culture, and jobs by 

  • focussing on the diversity of our audiences;
  • expanding our work to embrace television & video games;
  •  reframing the public’s relationship with the BFI’s collections;
  •  investing in the growth of our digital platforms; and,
  • working with industry to deliver long-term strategies for education and skills

Person Specification

Role of Governors

The role of the Governors is primarily to develop and oversee the implementation of BFI strategy and 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 BFI’s purpose, mission and vision, champion the BFI’s charitable work, and act as an advocate for the BFI, including assistance 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. 

Essential Criteria

All candidates will need to demonstrate in their application that they meet the majority of following essential criteria to a high standard:

  • Capability  and willingness to act as cultural advocates and fundraisers for the BFI across the industry and government.
  • An understanding of and commitment to the mission and work of the BFI. 
  • Strategic decision-making ability, including an in-depth  understanding of trends in the broader screen industries, helping to ensure 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 skills  with the ability to provide a cultural and/or an industry perspective, and check and challenge the Executive as required.
  • A strong commitment to engaging communities outside of London, and factoring UK-wide perspectives into all decision making.

Relevant, but non-essential, cross-cutting themes and skills may include legal expertise, experience in organisational culture and transformation, political astuteness and relationships, and a UK-wide and international lens.


Additional Criteria

Successful applicants will also be able to demonstrate one or more of the following criteria:


1. Cultural Leadership – Archive, Filmmakers & Creatives


  • The ability to champion the BFI National Archive and BFI cultural programming on the domestic and international stage.

Filmmaker & Creative

  • An experienced filmmaker or creative with the ability to advocate on behalf of the BFI at the highest levels both nationally and internationally, including for fundraising and wider industry messaging


2. Independent Production, Distribution & Business

  • Senior experience and leadership in the field of independent film production or distribution, including a clear understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the independent sector. 
  • A demonstrable commitment to and passion for developing audiences for a broad range of filmmaking on all platforms, with strong relationships in theatrical exhibition, video on demand and television.


3. Academia, Education and Skills


  • Experience of and ability to develop world class research in an academic setting on film, TV and the moving image.

 Education and  Skills

  • Experience in education and skills provision and strategic delivery.
  • The ability to engage with and develop a broad international network of partners, either personally or institutionally.
  • The ability to advocate for creativity and film and the moving image as agents of change and inspiration for young people.


4. Technology and Digital Innovation

  • The ability to lead Board level thinking and discussion on opportunities and possibilities relating to the digital and technological transformation of the BFI and the national collection.
  • The ability to provide strategic, cutting edge insight into digital innovation and potential applications to the BFI and wider industry, including audience growth.


5. Television

  • Experience working in Television commissioning or production, and ability to develop a network of high-level UK and international relationships across the sector, including with talent, SVOD platforms and PSBs. 
  • A detailed understanding – including opportunities and challenges – of the emerging television landscape.


6. Video Games

  • Experience in immersive or interactive content, and a passion for how the BFI can support this content with cultural, commercial or educational potential.
  • The ability to apply skills, experience and networks to drive discussion on utilising the national collection in innovative and groundbreaking ways.


Term of Appointment

The appointment is for a period of up to four years.

Additional Information

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) helps to drive growth, enrich lives, and promote Britain abroad. We protect and promote our cultural and artistic heritage and help businesses and communities to grow by investing in innovation and highlighting Britain as a fantastic place to visit. We help to give the UK a unique advantage on the global stage, striving for economic success.

DCMS is a ministerial department, supported by 45 agencies and public bodies.

Supporting information

This process is regulated by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ (OCPA‘s) Code of Practice. All applicants are expected to have adhered to the Seven Principles of Public Life.

Eligibility Criteria

You cannot be considered for a public appointment if:

  •       you become bankrupt or make an arrangement with a creditor
  •       your estate has been sequestrated in Scotland or you enter into a debt arrangement programme under Part 1 of the Debt Arrangement and Attachment (Scotland) Act 2002 (asp 17) as the debtor or have, under Scots law, granted a trust deed for creditors;
  •       you are disqualified from acting as a company director under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986;
  •       you have been convicted of a criminal offence, the conviction not being spent for the purposes of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (c. 53);
  •       you become subject to a debt relief order or a bankruptcy restrictions order;
  •       you fail to declare any conflict of interest.

Conflicts of Interest and Due Diligence

If you have any interests that might be relevant to the work of the BFI and which could lead to a real or perceived conflict of interest if you were to be appointed, please provide details in your application. If you have queries about this and would like to discuss further please contact the Public Appointments Team.

Given the nature of public appointments, it is important that those appointed as members of public bodies maintain the confidence of Parliament and the public. If there are any issues in your personal or professional history that could, if you were appointed, be misconstrued, cause embarrassment, or cause public confidence in the appointment to be jeopardised, it is important that you bring them to the attention of the Advisory Assessment Panel and provide details of the issue(s) in your application. In considering whether you wish to declare any issues, you should also reflect on any public statements you have made, including through social media.

As part of our due diligence checks we will consider anything in the public domain related to your conduct or professional capacity. This will include us undertaking searches of previous public statements and social media, blogs or any other publicly available information. This information may be made available to the Advisory Assessment Panel and they may wish to explore issues with you should you be invited to interview. The information may also be shared with ministers and Cabinet Office.

Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies
Declaration of Conflicts of Interest Form
OCPA Complaints Procedure
Public Appointments Privacy Notice 2021
BFI Governor Role Specification
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