Film at Lincoln Center’s newly promoted President, Lesli Klainberg, announced today that Dennis Lim has been promoted to the New York Film Festival’s first-ever Artistic Director. Eugene Hernandez has been elevated to the new role of Senior Vice President of FLC and Executive Director of the New York Film Festival. He will also continue to lead the organization’s strategic initiatives, including his role as publisher of Film Comment.
This year the New York Film Festival will be celebrating its 60th anniversary, and will take place from Friday, September 30th to Sunday, October 16th. The NYFF Main Slate selection committee, chaired by Dennis Lim, also includes Eugene Hernandez, Florence Almozini, K. Austin Collins, and Rachel Rosen.
Led by Klainberg, FLC has begun searching for a new Senior Director of Programming to lead FLC’s year-round programming efforts and further deepen the connections between NYFF and non-festival programming.
“Eugene and Dennis have done an extraordinary job during challenging times, leading the last two New York Film Festivals to great success,” said Klainberg. “With the upcoming 60th edition, we seek to expand our commitment to the festival and its integral role in film culture by elevating Eugene and Dennis and dedicating more of our resources and energy to ensuring a significant impact and awareness this year and in the years to come.”
Added Klainberg: “Dennis is one of the most highly respected programmers in the world. This new role as Artistic Director puts him alongside those with similar roles at leading international film festivals. Eugene continues to be a leading light in the film community, and his leadership of NYFF has been transformative. This also presents us a remarkable opportunity to introduce a new curatorial voice to our year-round programming of the Walter Reade Theater and the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center.”
The New York Film Festival has been a centerpiece of New York film culture since 1963, introducing national audiences to the most essential new cinematic works from around the world, and this year will mark the 60th edition of this globally recognized event, which has launched hundreds of notable films in its storied history.
As Artistic Director of the New York Film Festival, Lim will continue to oversee the curation and programming process for the world-renowned event and will work with Hernandez to build upon the incredible progress made over the past two years, since the duo took their roles leading the festival. Lim’s and Hernandez’s continued efforts ensure that the NYFF remains inclusive of a wide range of voices and global perspectives. Lim will continue to provide input for other Film at Lincoln Center programs, and NYFF selections will continue to make up the heart of our new release programming.
“The last two editions of the festival, while challenging for obvious reasons, were also very moving and eye-opening experiences for me,” said Lim. “They reminded me of the place that cinema has in our lives, as an art form and a shared experience, and the function of the festival as a conduit among films and filmmakers and audiences. No matter how the film landscape evolves, I believe that a festival like NYFF will have an essential role to play, and I’m excited to devote my energies to its continued success and vitality.”
Dennis Lim has been the Director of Programming for Film at Lincoln Center, leading the year-round curatorial strategy for the organization, since 2013, and the Director of Programming of the New York Film Festival since 2020. 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 for filmmakers Jane Campion, George Cukor, Christian Petzold, Raúl Ruiz, Agnès Varda, and John Waters. He was previously the Film Editor of The Village Voice, Editorial Director of the Museum of the Moving Image, and programmer of the 2010 Flaherty Film Seminar. He has served on multiple festival juries, including Sundance, Cannes Critics Week, Locarno, and San Sebastián. An advisor for the Berlinale since 2020, he has also consulted for the Mumbai Film Festival and the Thessaloniki Film Festival. In 2018 he received the Chevalier of 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; Tale of Cinema, his monograph on the Korean filmmaker Hong Sangsoo, will be published this spring.
“Dennis has provided vital leadership these past two years, refining NYFF’s programming structure, bringing new voices into the selection process, and laying the foundation for the festival’s seventh decade,” said Eugene Hernandez. “In my new role as Senior Vice President of FLC and Executive Director of the New York Film Festival, we’ve begun working on NYFF’s 60th edition, and after the exhilaration of being back in cinemas last year, coupled with the exceptional lineup, we’re anticipating a special festival this fall.”
Eugene 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. He was named the Director of the New York Film Festival in 2020. Hernandez was the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of IndieWire, a company he built over nearly 15 years as it became the leading editorial publication for independent and international films, filmmakers, industry, and audiences. Hernandez has taught a course surveying the art and industry of American independent film at The New School in New York, was featured in Out magazine’s OUT100 list in 2015, and has served as a juror for numerous festivals including Sundance, SXSW, and International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, as well as the annual Film Independent Spirit Awards. He has also worked extensively as a consultant for several nonprofits, including the Creative Capital Foundation; has written for major print and online publications; serves on the board of advisors for SXSW and Art House Convergence; and is a programming consultant for the annual Key West Film Festival. Earlier this year, he joined the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a Member-at-Large.
Matt Bolish, Film at Lincoln Center’s new VP of Operations & Production, will continue as Producer of NYFF, rounding out the festival’s leadership team. Bolish has been with Film at Lincoln Center for 11 years, and has been integral to the festival’s success as the organization has navigated the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.