Tricia Tuttle to step down as BFI festivals director

·3-min read

Tricia Tuttle is to step down as BFI festivals director after 10 years at the organisation, it has been announced.

She will deliver the upcoming London Film Festival (LFF) in October and remain in her post through to early 2023 while the institute recruits a replacement.

Ms Tuttle has led LFF and BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival for the past five years.

She said: “I have loved everything about my time at the BFI and as the director of our festivals.

“It’s been a deep and genuine privilege to lead BFI London Film Festival and BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival, and to be a senior leader in an organisation that has shaped me as a passionate film fan and a professional working in film.

“I took the role knowing that I believe in cultural renewal. I came in to make an impact quickly, with an aim to open up our festivals to more people and then pass the baton.

“And I could not be more proud of what we have achieved in these five years, especially given the absolutely wild challenges we have faced. I am leaving on a high and with so much love for the people and the work of the organisation.”

During her time as festivals director, Ms Tuttle has brought new developments to LFF including the expansion of the programme to offer television series, immersive and extended reality (XR) work alongside the films.

The BFI said her work has led to more world premieres at LFF, with Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical set to open the festival on October 5, and Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio and Asif Kapadia’s Creature also among the expected premieres in the programme.

As part of the festival’s expanded programme of XR and immersive work, Ms Tuttle also launched an annual commission to support the creation of new works which includes an augmented reality project from Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin, titled Haunted Hotel, which will have its world premiere at this year’s festival.

Before her role as festivals director, she was the deputy head of festivals from 2013 to 2017.

Programme Launch – BFI London Film Festival 2022
Tricia Tuttle at the BFI London Film Festival 2022 launch (Jonathan Brady/PA)

BFI chief executive Ben Roberts said: “Tricia has been the driving force behind the BFI London Film Festival’s transformation over the last five years and it could not be more vital and important than right now.

“I want to thank her for her creative leadership in adapting the LFF and BFI Flare in the face of huge external challenges, creating genuine UK-wide access physically and digitally, putting us on the international stage and of course bringing audiences incredible film experiences.

“Most importantly Tricia is a super smart, generous and collaborative leader and colleague.

“She leaves an incredible team behind her, and we will celebrate her success at her final festival this year.”

Jason Wood, BFI executive director of programming and audiences, said: “I have to say that on a personal and professional level I was incredibly sad to learn of Tricia’s decision to leave.

“It was one of my ambitions to work with her. And I am grateful that I finally got to realise it. An incredibly progressive and inclusive collaborator, her exceptional taste, commitment to new and established voices and forms of storytelling has been truly inspirational.

“She leaves the BFI London Film Festival in an exceptional position and will go on to be brilliant in whatever she does next. She will be warmly welcomed back at any time.”