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Sundance Institute’s Anne Lai Named New Executive Director of SFFILM

Anne Lai

Anne Lai, who is currently the Director of Creative Producing and Artist Support at the Sundance Institute, has been named the new Executive Director of SFFILM.

“The board, the staff, and I are very pleased to announce the appointment of Anne Lai to the role of Executive Director of SFFILM,” said Nion McEvoy, President of SFFILM’s Board of Directors, in a press release. “We are thrilled that the search has yielded such an excellent match for our organization and for the Bay Area arts community. We are excited to have Anne, with her incredible vision, exceptional leadership and management skills, distinct perspective, and deep industry knowledge, at the helm of SFFILM. We look forward to her guidance of our work championing the future of film—cultivating tomorrow’s filmmakers and film lovers through our education programs, directly supporting today’s emerging storytellers through our artist development initiatives, and engaging Bay Area audiences with the best of world cinema through our longstanding Festival and year-round screening events.”

Said Lai, “I’m thrilled and honored to be joining SFFILM, an organization I have long admired for its world class programs and curation. It’s an extraordinary opportunity to build upon a strong legacy and amplify not only the voices of its supported films and artists, but deepen the organization’s commitment to community and beyond through the festival, artist, and education programs. I’m delighted to join the journey and begin working with Nion, the Board, and the entire staff.”

Lai joins the organization following the departure of its former Executive Director, Noah Cowan, who resigned in April following five years with the organization.

At Sundance, Lai’s brief was expansive. She launched and led the Creative Producing Lab, provided support for directors and projects emerging from the Directors and Screenwriters Lab, led the curation of fiction films for the Catalyst Forum and, most recently, helped design and oversee the three-day Talent Forum, Sundance’s project market that takes place during the festival.

Lai will formally join SFFILM on March 11, following this year’s Sundance Film Festival and before the launch, a month later, of SFFILM’s own SFFILM Festival.

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