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Film Fest Musical Chairs: Tribeca, Sundance, LAFF

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood March 2, 2009 at 6:08AM

It's no shock that after six seasons of programming the Tribeca Film Fest, Peter Scarlet is moving on. Rumors of his exit had started to circulate at the Indie Spirit Awards. And word is Scarlet was getting antsy with Robert DeNiro and partner Jane Rosenthal's push for a smaller, event-oriented festival with less room for esoterica even before he learned that Geoff Gilmore, after 19 years running the higher-profile Sundance Film Festival, was coming in to supervise him. (When he announced the job switch, Gilmore told me that he was planning to let Scarlet run this year's Tribeca festival.) But while Scarlet could have opted to stay on board through this April's fest, which had his fingerprints on it, leaving now is an act of protest indeed.
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It's no shock that after six seasons of programming the Tribeca Film Fest, Peter Scarlet is moving on. Rumors of his exit had started to circulate at the Indie Spirit Awards. And word is Scarlet was getting antsy with Robert DeNiro and partner Jane Rosenthal's push for a smaller, event-oriented festival with less room for esoterica even before he learned that Geoff Gilmore, after 19 years running the higher-profile Sundance Film Festival, was coming in to supervise him. (When he announced the job switch, Gilmore told me that he was planning to let Scarlet run this year's Tribeca festival.) But while Scarlet could have opted to stay on board through this April's fest, which had his fingerprints on it, leaving now is an act of protest indeed.

Now we play a game of musical chairs. With Scarlet leaving, Gilmore will look to install another programmer in his stead. Meanwhile, Gilmore's post at Sundance will need to be filled. The fest has a deep bench of talent. Long-time Gilmore lieutenant John Cooper, who had taken over much of the programming over the past two years, is the presumed heir, but the festival is grabbing an opportunity to take stock of itself and figure out its strategic goals going forward. But it's unlikely that if Cooper doesn't get the job that he would stay.

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And at the Los Angeles Film Festival, the Rich Raddon vacancy is still open. Film Independent's Dawn Hudson has appointed a search committee, including UTA's Rich Klubeck, WMA's Rena Ronson and attorney Craig Emanuel, to vet potential candidates--and in this crazy economy, there are many. Rachel Rosen is still programming the fest, which has been on an upswing since it centralized itself in Westwood, but the LAFF needs a strong fund-raiser/administrator/director with strong showman skills who can help crystallize the summer fest's identity both inside--and outside--Hollywood.

[Originally appeared on Variety.com]

This article is related to: Festivals, Genres, Sundance, Independents


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