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BFI creates new Digital executive post

29 August 2009

The BFI has appointed Paula Le Dieu to the newly created post of Director of Digital. She will be responsible for all aspects of the BFI's digital strategy, from growing online audiences and opening up new income opportunities, to unifying the BFI's offering and online experience across all of its properties and services. Paula will take an executive board position and report to Amanda Nevill, the Director of the BFI.

This new post is critical as the BFI strengthens its commitment to operating in a digital world and moves forward its ambitions for a BFI Film Centre that connects to audiences digitally as well as those who visit in person.

The BFI has long been a pioneer in opening up access to the BFI National Archive to wider audiences online and using digital technologies. Thousands of hours of archive film have been digitised and made available for people to watch at one of the BFI Mediatheques, on the BFI's YouTube channel, via streaming sites such as Jaman, or to download. Additionally hundreds of British films and clips including television are on BFI Screenonline which is available for free in education and in public libraries, whilst academics and researchers can access material via an online portal to study social, economic and political histories of Britain as seen on film.

Amanda Nevill, Director of the BFI, said: "This is a critical appointment for the BFI as we bring all our digital activities under unified responsibility to maximise their potential. We are in a new era as we really open up the archive and reach wider and more diverse audiences in many ways previously only imagined. We are thrilled to have Paula on board with all her experience and her connections as we pursue every new opportunity in this burgeoning digital universe."

Paula Le Dieu's career is steeped in the digital world, aside from a six-year spell in theatre in the early 90s. After three years working for a newspaper and a leading retailer - all based online - Paula joined the new media division of the BBC in 2001 as a producer where she was responsible for the rollout of the search and the toolbar elements of the corporation's website. She went on to spend four years at BBCi, moving up to become an executive producer, before being appointed Project Director for the Creative Archive, working with external partners including the BFI and OU to make archive content freely available online rights free for creative re-use.

She left the BBC in 2005 to spend a year with the US-based, non-profit organisation Creative Commons as the founding Director of iCommons. Here she was responsible for supporting the international framework to encourage open culture licences and communities. She then spent two years at Magic Lantern Productions as their Director of Open Media, before leaving in 2008 to concentrate on a number of advisory positions for various organisations including Sheffield Documentary Festival, Power to the Pixel conference, the British Museum, the Open Rights Group and Open Knowledge Foundation.

Paula Le Dieu takes up her post at the BFI on 28 September.

About the BFI

The BFI has existed since 1933 as the nation's cultural organisation for film. It is an independent body with charitable status and Royal Charter and cares for the BFI National Archive and Library. Activities include:

  • BFI Southbank and BFI Imax;
  • BFI Education;
  • Sight & Sound magazine;
  • BFI Film Distribution;
  • BFI DVDs;
  • BFI books;
  • BFI London Film Festival;
  • London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival

The turnover of the BFI is £38 million, of which £16 million comes from Government as grant-in-aid via the UK Film Council.

For further information:
Nick Mason Pearson
BFI Press Office
0207 957 8901
07968 747879

Director of Press & Public Affairs
21 Stephen Street
London W1T 1LN
dir: 020 7957 8901
mob: 07968 747879