David Ansen is moving back East, SoCal-style. After four years as Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Film Festival, he will head down the 10 Freeway to the desert to become Lead Programmer for the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Working with a half-dozen other programmers under Artistic Director Helen du Toit, the former Newsweek movie critic will be tasked with acquiring films for the upcoming festivals from U.S.-based distribution outlets and international sales companies. He also will be on the selection committee for films submitted to the festival.

palm_springs_international_film_fest_logo“I’m thrilled to have someone with David’s vast scope and depth of knowledge about film join us as a key member of the PSIFF programming team,” said Festival Director Darryl Macdonald. “His taste in films has always been impeccable, ranging from the discovery of unheralded works from gifted new international directors to a singular appreciation of films from seasoned filmmakers working in the major studio milieux.”

Along with his 2010-14 gig at LAFF, Ansen was on the New York Film Festival selection committee from 1990-97 and has served on juries at Sundance and other festivals. He was the top film critic at Newsweek from 1977-2008. He presented an award at the Palm Springs International ShortFest.

“As a longtime fan of the Palm Springs International Film Festival, I’m very excited to be working alongside Darryl and Helen, who have turned it into one of the country’s great festivals,” Ansen said. “I love its emphasis on international cinema, its broad, eclectic spirit and the adventurous and enthusiastic audiences”