Tom Hiddleston has been appointed the BFI’s first official Ambassador. The title will see The Avengers star advocate for British film and the BFI’s vital work in building the next generation of film talent and film lovers in the UK. Hiddleston has balanced a career in studio tentpoles such as Thor and The Avengers with edgier British fare such as Terence Davies’ The Deep Blue Sea and Ben Wheatley’s High Rise, which receives its European premiere at the BFI London Film Festival on October 9.

‘Film is an art form – one of the most powerful, accessible, democratic and transformative in our society. It allows us to see the world around us, and the lives of others,” said Hiddleston. “It plays a vital role in establishing our national identity and gives us confidence as a nation. The BFI looks after the most significant collection of film and television in the world. It should be treasured and protected, in the same way we treasure and protect all our great cultural collections, from art and music, to libraries and museums. The BFI’s mission is to ensure that our film culture is kept alive, and to inspire the next generation of film talent. It’s the reason the BFI exists and why I am committed to being a BFI Ambassador.”

A lifelong supporter of the BFI, Hiddleston will help raise awareness of the BFI’s key activities as a cultural charity including its film programs, film education, film preservation at the BFI National Archive and BFI-led initiatives to build the next generation of film talent such as the BFI Film Academy.