Film at Lincoln Center’s Executive Director Lesli Klainberg announced today that Eugene Hernandez, Deputy Executive Director of the organization, has been named Director of the New York Film Festival. In addition to his current duties, which include leadership of FLC’s Artist, Industry, and Education initiatives and serving as publisher of Film Comment, Hernandez will be responsible for the strategic direction and leadership of the New York Film Festival and will serve on the festival’s selection committee.

Expanding his role as Director of Programming for FLC, Dennis Lim has now been appointed Director of Programming for the New York Film Festival. A member of the Selection Committee from 2009-2011, and again since 2013, Lim will now lead the programming strategy for the festival, chairing the committee that selects the Main Slate, among other sections, while continuing to oversee year-round programming for FLC. Lim will work with Hernandez on a number of innovations to the selection process and structure of the festival. Together, they will ensure that NYFF continues to be inclusive of a wide range of voices and global perspectives.

The complete, expanded selection committee will be composed of FLC staff and external programmers, the members of which will be announced this spring.

“This is a very exciting new chapter in the story of the New York Film Festival and Film at Lincoln Center,” said Klainberg. “Eugene Hernandez is a singular presence in the film community, and when we began to consider the qualities needed for a person in this position, we knew we had the perfect person in-house already. His background as a journalist and founder of IndieWire as well as his more than eight years at FLC make him uniquely qualified to lead NYFF into a new era. 

Dennis Lim is one of the most highly respected programmers in the world. In addition to the expert curatorial oversight Dennis brings to FLC’s year-round programming, we’re exceptionally fortunate to have him collaborate with Eugene to bring new energy to this venerable festival, which remains FLC’s most important annual event.”

“I’ll never forget my first experience at the New York Film Festival,” said Hernandez. “I had just moved to the city and saw Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, opening night of the 32nd NYFF, and was immediately under the spell of the festival’s prestige and singular programming. Ever since, the vital work of Film at Lincoln Center has been integral in shaping my passion for international cinema. I have learned so much from former Directors Richard Peña, Kent Jones, and selection committees through the years, as well as the festival’s sharp, enthusiastic audiences that make NYFF truly New York’s film festival. As Director of NYFF, I am honored to usher this legacy forward, and create an event that is inviting, engaging, and a home for a diverse array of artists and audiences, as it has always been for me.”

“I’m honored and excited to take on this new responsibility at a festival that has played a central role in the city’s film culture and that has meant so much to me personally,” said Lim. “At its heart, the New York Film Festival has always been about making a case for what matters in cinema, and beyond that, for the importance of cinema as an art form and as it relates to the world around us. I believe that is a more essential mission than ever today, and I’m looking forward to collaborating with the programming team to shape a festival that retains its singular identity while remaining open to discovery and surprise.”

The New York Film Festival has been a centerpiece of New York film culture since 1963, introducing US audiences to the most essential new cinematic works from around the world. The 58th edition runs September 25–October 11, 2020.

Hernandez joined Film at Lincoln Center in 2010 as the Director of Digital Strategy before being promoted to Deputy Director in 2014, leading strategy and special programs for the organization. Previously, Hernandez was the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of IndieWire, which he built over nearly 15 years as it became the leading editorial publication for independent and international films, filmmakers, industry, and audiences. Hernandez was featured in Out magazine’s OUT100 list in 2015 and has served as a juror at Sundance, SXSW, and the Film Independent Spirit Awards. He has also worked extensively as a consultant for several nonprofits including the Creative Capital Foundation; written for major print and online publications; serves on the board of advisors for SXSW, SeriesFest, and Art House Convergence; and is a programming consultant for the Key West Film Festival.

Dennis Lim has been the director of programming at Film at Lincoln Center since 2013, leading the year-round curatorial strategy for the organization. During his tenure, he has co-chaired the New Directors/New Films selection committee, launched FLC’s annual Art of the Real festival, and organized numerous programs, including retrospectives of Jane Campion, George Cukor, Christian Petzold, Raúl Ruiz, Agnès Varda, and John Waters. He was previously the film editor of the Village Voice and the editorial director of the Museum of the Moving Image, and was the programmer of the 2010 Flaherty Film Seminar. He has served on multiple festival juries, including Sundance, Cannes Critics Week, Locarno, and San Sebastián, and is an advisor for the Berlinale, the Mumbai Film Festival, and the Thessaloniki Film Festival. In 2018 he received the Chevalier of the Arts and Letters from the French Ministry of Culture. He has written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Artforum, and Film Comment, and taught film studies at Harvard and arts criticism at NYU. His 2015 book David Lynch: The Man from Another Place has been translated into three languages; his monograph on the Korean filmmaker Hong Sang-soo will be published in 2021.