Rose Kuo and David Rogers Depart AFI FEST

Posted in Uncategorized by johnwildman on January 11, 2010



LOS ANGELES (January 11, 2010)—On the heels of the successful 2009 edition of AFI FEST including the unprecedented offer of free screenings to all films for the public, Artistic Director Rose Kuo and Festival Producer David Rogers have announced their departure from AFI.

Head of Press and Public Relations John Wildman has also exited AFI.

Kuo joined AFI FEST as the Artistic Director in 2007 and presided over a rebirth of the venerable film festival that featured a distinctive programming philosophy and personality. The result was immediate critical praise regarding the new direction. The addition of former Daily Variety film critic Robert Koehler as AFI FEST Director of Programming in 2009 inspired a new round of enthusiasm within the film festival community. Kuo also was the architect of the free screenings initiative for 2009 despite a challenging economic  year for all non-profit arts organizations.

Rogers successfully navigated the festival production and logistics of new venues in  Hollywood and the festival’s move to Santa Monica during AFM.  Under his stewardship, AFI FEST enjoyed record crowds with remarkably smooth production details despite extremely challenging economic circumstances.

Regarding her departure, Kuo said, “It has been a privilege to lead AFI FEST and work with the exceptional members of the festival team.  We have succeeded in reshaping the festival and, I hope, reaffirming its place among leading festivals.  Now it is time for me to go in a new direction.

“AFI FEST 2009 was the culmination of some really innovative ideas regarding what a film festival could and should be and of course, a lot of hard work. Given the hurdles presented us, it was also something that could not have been achieved without our core group. It was great to work with each of them,” said Rogers.

Wildman added, “While I am very proud of the work I was able to do press-wise on behalf of AFI FEST and several AFI programs, including the AFI Life Achievement Award (working with a wonderful team at TV LAND) and the Directing Workshop for Women, I am very passionate about promoting and assisting filmmakers through film festivals. This move will open up that landscape.”


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  1. […] AFI Fest’s artistic director, its producer, and its head of PR have all stepped down. The official release leaves a lot of room between the lines into which one can read. Leave a […]

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