Film Festival Today

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Richard Pena Stepping Down

Written by: FFT Webmaster | October 18th, 2011

Confirming rumors that have been swirling for weeks, Richard Pena, the longtime Program Director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Head of the Selection Committee for the New York Film Festival, has announced that he will step down next year, when the Festival celebrates its 50th anniversary. Pena made the announcement at Sunday evening’s premiere of the New York Film Festival’s closing night gala THE DESCENDANTS. The choice to leave was apparently Pena’s alone. In a statement from the stage he declared that “Heading into the 50th anniversary of the Festival, it seems a perfect time for a transition, both for me personally and for the organization. Working at the Film Society has been beyond a dream come true, but in the years left me I would like to possibly explore other possibilitiesin my life and my career.”

Rose Kuo, the FSLC Executive Director called Pena “a shining light for more than two decades at the Film Society, guiding us in the discovery of artists like Pedro Almodovar, Mike Leigh, Lars Von Trier, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Hong Sang Soo and many more. It has been an honor and a privilege to work with Richard and I am delighted that he will continue with us as he transitions to a new period in his career and life.” The Film Society has said that Pena will stay on to help design and organize a new educational initiative on site after he steps down. Now the search is on to find his replacement…..a tall order for some very big and very talented shoes.

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