Elspeth Tavares, founder, publisher and editor-in-chief of The Business of Film, an independent film industry trade publication founded in 1980, has died at her home in London following a short illness. She was 71.
Educated in London, Tavares began her career in publishing with U.K. national Sunday newspaper The Observer, where she learned the printing and advertising sales business. Her success there led to an appointment at U.K. trade publication Screen International, where she rose to the position of managing director, restructuring the company and making it into a profitable enterprise. It was subsequently acquired by a U.K. publishing house.
Tavares’ experience in consumer, trade and national newspaper publishing, coupled with her expertise in the international film industry, resulted in the founding of The Business of Film with offices in London and Los Angeles. She prided herself in instigating new technologies and was the first international trade paper to move to total electronic delivery and introduce online interactivity between advertisers and readers.
With her own publication, she had been at the forefront of encouraging new young talent and for the first decade of its existence, The Business of Film operated a trainee journalism scheme for graduates from Oxford and Cambridge to ground them in the complexities of the international film business.
Tavares was also the founder of The Women’s International Film and Television Showcase, a foundation that strove to create a new strand of recognition of outstanding women highlighting individuality within all arenas and bringing them together through film and television. An annual award ceremony was hosted in Los Angeles from 2008 to 2019.