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Sundance Institute names new film festival director

Eugene Fernandez will start with the Sundance Film Festival in November and will be directing the annual film festival starting in 2024.
Harry Garfunkel
Sundance Institute
Eugene Fernandez will start with the Sundance Film Festival in November and will be directing the annual festival starting in 2024.

A leader in the film and media industry for more than 25 years, Eugene Hernandez, has been named as the director of the Sundance Film Festival, but won’t start until November.  

Sundance Institute CEO Joana Vicente made the announcement Wednesday that Eugene Hernandez will join the nonprofit Institute as the Sundance Film Festival’s next director. In that role he’ll head up public programming starting with the 2024 festival.

According to a press release, Hernandez has spent much of his career leading and advising nonprofit arts organizations. The upcoming 2023 festival is being led by Vicente, working closely with Director of Programming Kim Yutani, along with the institute's leadership team.

Hernandez is the fourth festival director in the Sundance Film Festival's history. He is currently serving as the senior vice president of film at the Lincoln Center, or FLC.

He is also the executive director of the New York Film Festival and publisher of Film Comment, a long-time arts and culture magazine produced by the FLC. Hernandez was the co-founder and editor-in-chief of IndieWire, the leading editorial publication for independent and international film.

Hernandez replaces Tabitha Jackson, who announced her departure in June.

As director of the Sundance Film Festival, Hernandez will be responsible for guiding and overseeing the festival's overall vision and strategy while collaborating with the programming and leadership teams, helping to shape the institute’s public programming locally and globally.

In prepared statements, Joana Vicente, Sundance Institute CEO, said she is thrilled for Hernandez’s arrival. “He joins at a critical time in the industry for independent filmmakers,” she said, “when the institute has never played a more important role for artists and audiences.”

Hernandez added he is both energized and humbled to join the Sundance Institute, saying he is ready for this inspiring challenge and unique opportunity to engage artists and audiences and work with the best-in-the-business team.

Hernandez will be based between the institute's New York and Los Angeles offices while also working in the Park City office.