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Michael Lumpkin appointed new director of AFI Docs


The American Film Institute has appointed Michael Lumpkin as the new director for their annual documentary film festival AFI Docs.

Michael Lumpkin

Michael Lumpkin is a filmmaker with nearly three decades of experience in the film community. In addition to producing the 1995 documentary “The Celluloid Closet,” he was director of the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival and served as a Sundance Film Festival juror. He comes to AFI Docs from a position as Executive Director of the IDA, International Documentary Association, located in Los Angeles.

Lumpkin will take over AFI Docs as of January 1 and will continue to live in Los Angeles. IDA has not made any announcements yet, about who will be heading the organisation in the future.

AFI Docs has been without a permanent director since Sky Sitney stepped down in February after eight years on the job. Her spot was temporarily filled by Christine O’Malley.

Lumpkin steps into the job after a period of flux at AFI Docs. In addition to Sitney’s departure and the festival’s name change from Silverdocs to its current name, the event has also expanded in recent years from AFI’s Silver Theatre in Silver Spring to a scattering of cinemas across the Washington D.C. area.

In addition to these changes, a long-time filmmakers’ conference was discontinued in favour of a greater push to have attendees interact with policymakers and advocates. Now Lumpkin is set to bring the festival back on track for the next edition, taking place in Washington, DC on June 17-21, 2015.

Read more about AFI Docs in our EDN Festival Calendar.