Just in time to head across the Atlantic for the Cannes Film Festival, Kim Yutani has been appointed as Trevor Groth’s replacement as the Sundance Film Festival’s director of programming.

Moving up from Senior Programmer at the fest, Yutani will lead the curation of film, media and off-screen programming at the Sundance Film Festival and other year-round public platforms and programs that showcase and elevate independent storytellers and artists.

“Kim’s curatorial vision combines a voracious appetite for films across genres with a creative instinct for the work that will affect audiences and culture,” Festival Director John Cooper said in a memo to staff announcing the move. “I predict that our Festival slates will further deepen and broaden the reach of independent artists and stories in fiction and nonfiction.”

Sundance Institute

Yutani began programming short films at the Sundance Film Festival in 2006. In 2009, she became a feature film programmer, focusing on U.S. and international fiction feature films, overseeing short film programming and working on the fest’s Offscreen series of panels and conversations. She was instrumental in the creation of Sundance Film Festival: Hong Kong, which she also programs. For the past five years, Yutani has overseen a new collaboration with the Berlinale’s European Film Market — housed within the Sundance Film Festival at EFM program — which has provided exposure and sales opportunities for Sundance films, immediately after premiering at the festival.

“My approach as a programmer,” Yutani said, “has always been driven by an empathetic inquisitiveness, a desire to see the world from as many points of view as possible.”

Said Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute: “Kim rose to the top among an outstanding field of candidates because of her creativity, programming experience and collaborative approach to leadership. I am excited to see how she’ll execute her vision.”

The 2019 Sundance Film Festival is set to kick off in late-January in and around glorious Park City.

Erik Pedersen contributed to this report.