The Toronto Film Festival has tapped Joana Vicente as its new executive director & co-head. She joins Cameron Bailey, who was previously announced as TIFF’s artistic director & co-head.
Together they will report to TIFF’s board of directors. Vicente starts November 1, while Bailey begins on October 1. This year’s festival runs September 6-16.
“After an extensive search for a co-head we are thrilled to welcome Joana to the new role and to the TIFF family,” said TIFF board of directors chair Jennifer Tory.
“The hiring committee was deeply impressed with Joana’s combined history as a producer, a champion of independent filmmakers, and with her success in fundraising and partnerships. Her extensive knowledge of the changing global film landscape solidified the decision. The board is confident that Joana and Cameron are the perfect duo to take TIFF into the future.”
Said Bailey, who was promoted to co-head in April: “Joana thinks big and thinks globally, which makes her an ideal partner. She complements strategic thinking with strong relationships built over years in the not-for-profit sector, and as a film producer. Her combined expertise as a leader, a manager, and a creator will be an invaluable asset to TIFF. I’m looking forward to working together with Joana to keep TIFF at the forefront of our industry’s change.”
Since December 2009, Vicente has served as the Independent Filmmaker Project’s executive director, the driving force behind the development and construction of the state-of-the-art 20,000-square-foot Made in NY Media Center, a crossroads for professionals in film, TV, advertising and other medias. The center includes an incubator space, 72-seat screening room, art gallery, classrooms and a cafe.
Vicente scouted real estate, and raised an additional $2 million to supplement the city’s $3M grant. During her tenure, she oversaw the IFP’s growth in New York’s filmmaking community through such programs as the org’s Independent Film Week, Filmmaker Magazine, and their IFP Gotham Awards.
Vicente will have a seamless transition from IFP to TIFF, attending the festival next month while preparing IFP’s Gotham Awards ceremony which takes place in New York on November 26.
“I’ve always looked to TIFF as a prominent international platform for world cinema, with an impact that is both local and global,” Vicente said. “Cameron’s artistic vision is inspiring and I look forward to working with him and with the passionate team at TIFF to expand the organization at an exciting moment in our ever-changing media landscape.”
IFP’s Board of Directors also released a statement praising Vicente’s achievements saying that the organization “saw tremendous growth under Joana’s leadership. She repositioned IFP as a vital support organization and grew it from a $1.5M organization to a vibrant $7.5M organization with 22 full-time employees.”
A search for Vicente’s replacement at IFP is underway as the organization celebrates its 40th anniversary.