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05 December 2014

BIFA founder Elliot Grove announced today that Amy Gustin and Deena Wallace will take over the running of the British Independent Film Awards from January 2015.

Events professional Gustin produced the last two editions of the Raindance Film Festival. Wallace was previously Head of Film at BAFTA.

As previously announced, the current Co-Directors of the Awards, Johanna von Fischer and Tessa Collinson, will step down at the end of 2014 after this year’s 17th Awards Ceremony.

Elliot Grove, who founded the Awards in 1998, said; “As Johanna and Tessa step down, having established BIFA as a high point in the UK film calendar, I am thrilled that Deena and Amy have agreed to pick up the baton. I have worked with both Amy and Deena over the years and am confident that BIFA is in incredibly safe and creative hands with them.“

Wallace and Gustin added; “BIFA is so well-respected and loved amongst the UK industry; we are delighted to have a part in shaping its future. We have big shoes to fill, but we can’t wait to get started. One of our first acts will be to form a small board to represent the industry and help guide BIFA’s development over the coming years.”


The Moët British Independent Film Awards will take place on Sunday 7th December at Old Billingsgate and will be hosted by Simon Bird.

Johanna von Fischer and Tessa Collinson commented: “As our final Awards Ceremony approaches this weekend it is a great opportunity to welcome the new team.  We are incredibly proud to be handing over the Awards in such great shape and know that the loyal support from the industry will continue with Deena and Amy at the helm.  We wish them every success and know they will take good care of this unpredictable and joyously inspiring organisation.”

Emma Thompson will receive the Richard Harris Award for outstanding contribution by an actor to British film and Benedict Cumberbatch will receive the Variety Award.

The full list of nominations is available here

Amy Gustin
Amy started in theatrical casting and production, but took the step into film and business in 2005 when she joined Apollo Cinemas to head up their private and corporate business. She’s worked with clients ranging from Paramount, Fox and Vertigo to Dior, Burberry and BT. In 2011, Amy set up her own events consultancy business. Recent projects include producing the Raindance Film Festival and Tour, Filmonomics programme for Birds Eye View, Independent Filmmakers Ball, plus red carpet premieres for Vue Cinemas including Inbetweeners 2 and The Muppets Most Wanted.

Deena Wallace
Deena has over ten years' experience running awards ceremonies. From December 2007 she ran the awards process of the BAFTA Film Awards, the highest profile awards ceremony in the UK. As Head of Film, Deena was responsible for all elements of the Awards process, including fostering relationships with the film industry. Deena first worked on BIFA in 2003, assisting on production and the submission process and subsequently worked on the 2004, 2005 and 2007 ceremonies. She has also worked at the BBC, Film4 and The Weinstein Company.