Michael Lumpkin, who has served as Director of the American Film Institute’s Docs for the past three years, has just been named Director of AFI Festivals. Jacqueline Lyanga, who began serving as Director of AFI FEST in 2010 and is a graduate of the AFI Conservatory, is departing her role to pursue new opportunities.
Lyanga and will consult with AFI through June to ensure a smooth transition. “It has been an amazing and extremely rewarding experience to be part of the festival’s growth in scope and influence as the Director of AFI Fest for the past eight years,” said Lyanga in a statement. “My time at AFI goes back to 2005 during which I’ve seen this incredible organization continue to evolve and I have been able to work closely with a tremendous and passionate group of movie-lovers. I’m so proud of where we’ve taken the festival, and now I’m ready for new challenges and opportunities.”
The AFI FEST takes place each fall in Hollywood, CA. AFI Docs, which takes place each June in the D.C. area, will continue to operate as separate festivals, but year-round programming and operations will be combined to streamline efforts with studios, distributors, sponsors and cultural partners.
So in his new post, Lumpkin will lead both AFI Fest and AFI Docs (the Institute’s documentary festival). “AFI has celebrated films at festivals since its founding more than 50 years ago,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO in announcing the change. “As the art form continues to evolve in exciting ways — so has the art of finding an audience, and this new structure will strengthen AFI’s voice on both coasts and across the nation.”
Prior to joining AFI, Lumpkin was Executive Director of the International Documentary Association for six years, and headed Frameline and its San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival for 25 years. He also produced HBO’s groundbreaking 1995 documentary The Celluloid Closet.
“I am incredibly honored to have the opportunity to lead AFI’s portfolio of outstanding film festivals spanning the country and all film genres, from AFI FEST, now in its 32nd year, to AFI DOCS in its 16th year, as well as other AFI film festival events,” said Lumpkin in a statment. “I look forward to working with all of AFI’s talented and dedicated exhibition staff on what will be stellar events in DC this month and in Hollywood in November.”
Lumpkin is currently unveiling AFI DOCS 2018, which will take place June 13–17 in D.C., and Silver Spring, MD. This year’s festival will open with the World Premiere of Personal Statement, with screenings to follow throughout landmark venues in D.C. and at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring.