Mia Bays appointed Director of the BFI Film Fund
07:54 am PDT 04/21/2021
Bays plays one of the most influential roles in British cinema, overseeing a fund worth around $ 42 million a year.
The British Film Institute has appointed Mia Bays as director of the BFI Film Fund.
Bays, currently director in general of the women’s charity Birds’ Eye View and slated for the post in October, will fill the role left open by Ben Roberts when he was promoted to CEO in early 2020.
The position is a key point in the UK film industry, with Bays overseeing a fund worth around £ 30million ($ 42million) a year, the largest public fund for cinema .
“I’m marking 30 years in film this year,” said Bays, who has a three-year tenure with the BFI. “What a way to celebrate and start a new chapter. I am both excited and terrified! I look to continue as a change maker and cultural agitator; this time, bringing that energy and commitment into a institution with a long history, knowledge and passion for cinema, which I share with all my heart. “
Bays has worked on the release of over 150 feature films, is a multi-nominated producer at BAFTAs (including for Scott Walker: Man of the 30th Century, produced by David Bowie) and produced the Oscar-winning film Six shooters directed by Martin McDonagh. Mia was a creative producer from 2007 to 2014 for the Microwave Film London BBC Films microbudget program, which directed eight feature films, Sly and Sick mansions with Riz Ahmed, Freestyle with Arinzé Kene and Cadenced directed by Hong Khaou.
“We are delighted that Mia is joining us to lead the Film Fund team,” said Roberts. “The Fund really couldn’t be in better hands as we look to the future of the fund and develop our next strategy. Mia has such experience in production, curation and audience development, and I have immense admiration for her transformative work at Birds Eye View. She has championed diversity and emerging talent throughout her career, so she will be a key driver of our commitment to create the widest possible opportunities across the UK. “
Mia is expected to remain in a consulting role at Birds’ Eye View and intends to return there at the end of her fixed-term contract with the BFI Film Fund.
As part of other changes to the Film Fund, Natascha Wharton and Lizzie Francke, formerly senior production and development executives, have been named chief editorial staff and editor-in-chief, respectively. Farhana Bhula and Kristin Irving are promoted to senior production and development executives, and Fiona Morham has taken on expanded responsibilities in her role as production manager.
Recent projects supported by BFI include a seven-time BAFTA nominee and multiple BAFTA award winner Rocks; Ammonite, directed by Francis Lee and starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan; and Saint maud directed by BAFTA nominated Rose Glass with Rising Star nominee Morfydd Clark.