News story

Four governors appointed to the British Film Institute

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Matthew Hancock, has appointed Idris Elba, Robin Saunders, Andrew Smith and Phil Stokes to the Board of the BFI from 10 May, each for four-year terms.

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Idris Elba

Idris Elba is an award-winning actor, producer and director. He earned a Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award and four Emmy nominations for his role as Luther in the 2010 series, and has extensive film credits including American Gangster, Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom, Beasts of No Nation and the Oscar-nominated Molly’s Game.

Behind the camera, Elba made his feature film directorial debut at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival with Yardie. In 2013, he founded his production company, Green Door Pictures, to champion diversity. Through Green Door, Elba released the documentary Mandela, My Dad and Me, produced the TV mini-series Guerrilla for Showtime, and created, produced and appears in the Sky comedy series In The Long Run. He also created, produces and stars in the upcoming Netflix comedy series Turn Up Charlie.

Robin Saunders

Robin Saunders is Managing Partner of Clearbrook Capital Partners LLP, a private investment and advisory group working with growth companies across a variety of sectors including business services, real estate, energy, utilities and asset management, based in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North America.

Prior to founding Clearbrook, Robin was a leading corporate banker who led intrapreneurial teams specialising in securitisation and principal finance within banks including Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, and WestLB. She has served on numerous boards including Formula One Holdings; Pubmistress; Swan Capital Group; Whyte and Mackay Group Ltd; Odeon; The Office of the Rail Regulator; Sadler’s Wells Theatre and others.

Robin is an enthusiastic supporter of numerous arts organisations in the United Kingdom and the United States; a visiting fellow at Said Business School, University of Oxford; and actively mentors young entrepreneurs in various countries.

Andrew Smith

Andrew joined Pinewood Studios in June 2008 as Corporate Affairs Director. Prior to this, Andrew was Managing Partner of The Policy Partnership. Andrew is currently a member of the Film Skills Council, the British Film Commission Advisory Board, the British Screen Advisory Board and BAFTA. He is also a non-Executive Director of Bucks Business First and Chairman of the Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership.

Phil Stokes

Phil is a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has an extensive background in working with and advising film and media companies and led PwC’s entertainment and media industry group in the UK for twelve years to 2017 and its EMEA Telecoms, Media and Technology practice from 2012 to 2015. He also founded and led the firm’s global Digital Transformation group, responding to the impact of new technologies and changing consumer behaviours across all industries. He advises companies on financial controls, risk management, corporate governance and financial reporting. He is a trustee of Groundwork London, a school governor and has been a non-governor member of the BFI’s Audit, Risk and Governance Committee for two years.

Josh Berger CBE, Chair of the BFI said:

The four Governors announced today are leaders in their fields and their expertise, experience and fresh perspectives will further enhance and strengthen the Board.

The BFI fulfils a crucial role at the helm of the UK’s most creative, dynamic and fast-moving industries and bringing Idris, Phil, Robin and Andrew to the board table will strengthen our ability to embrace new opportunities as we continue our growth and development.

The roles are not paid. These appointments have been made in accordance with the Cabinet Office’s Governance Code on Public Appointments. The appointments process is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. Under the Code, any significant political activity undertaken by an appointee in the last five years must be declared. This is defined as including holding office, public speaking, making a recordable donation, or candidature for election. Idris Elba, Robin Saunders and Phil Stokes have declared no such political activity. Andrew Smith has declared that he is Chair of the Stoke Poges branch of the Beaconsfield Conservative Association and will be standing down from this position. Andrew also delivered leaflets at the 2017 General Election for Dominic Grieve MP, and for district councillors in the last local government elections.

Published 24 May 2018