Clare Stewart explains the reasoning behind the new fee of £30 for a press pass to the 2013 festival.
LWLies met with BFI London Film Festival artistic director Clare Stewart for a chat about her vision for the capital's premiere cinematic jamboree. Be sure to pick up the next print issue of LWLies (on 1 September, 2013) to read the full interview in which she discusses her views on British cinema, female film directors and what it's like being a woman in a man's world.
Yet, with current debate raging around the introduction of a flat fee of £30 for press accreditation, we asked her to talk a little about her reasoning behind this new innovation and whether she was ready for the impassioned response it has provoked among the UK critical fraternity.
LWLies: Can you explain the BFI's reasoning behind the new press accreditation fee?
Stewart: The BFI, like all cultural organisations in the UK, is facing funding cuts. We invest very heavily in the industry and press screening programmes for the festival. That comes with quite hefty administrative costs and this is partly a way to help us defray those. And if we’re talking in terms of what that might be for paying to see films, £30 that's, what, two trips to the cinema?
Are you surprised that some people have railed against this?
I think change in any context, whatever it is, always creates a response and I’m not afraid of change.
The 57th BFI London Film Film Festival runs from 9-20 October. For more info head to bfi.org.uk/lff