Ending a search that began in the wake of the sudden departure of Rich Raddon last year, Film Independent has named Rebecca Yeldham the new Director of the Los Angeles Film Festival. A member of FIND’s executive board, Yeldham is an accomplished film producer who also once served as a senior programmer at the Sundance Film Festival and was Associate Director of the Sundance Institute’s International Programs.
“Rebecca has a wide range of experience in the industry and she’s an inspiring leader — her many talents make her a natural fit for the Los Angeles Film Festival,” said Dawn Hudson, Executive Director of Film Independent, in a statement. “She has been intimately involved in the building of this festival and the organization over the last nine years as a Film Independent Board member. Rebecca shares our vision of expanding the festival within Los Angeles and the global film community by introducing audiences to unique filmmakers and their films.”
In the early 90s, Yeldham worked as director of acquisitions and business affairs at Fox Lorber and Associates. After her time at Sundance, she joined FilmFour as its senior vice president of production. Yeldham has been Walter Salles’ producing partner, developing “On The Road” while also in post-production on the documentary, “Searching for the Road.” Her other producing credits include Marc Forster’s The Kite Runner, Walter Salles’ Linha de Passe and The Motorcycle Diaries, and Sacha Gervasi’s “Anvil! The Story of Anvil.”
This news comes more than three months after the controversial announcement that Rich Raddon would be stepping down from his position at LAFF. Raddon’s official resignation statement did not address concerns that were raised when it was revealed that Raddon, a Mormon member of the film community, had donated $1500 to the campaign in support of California Proposition 8. Though he did release a statement apologizing for the “negative attention that my actions have drawn to Film Independent and for the hurt and pain that is being experienced in the GLBT community.”
In the weeks leading up to Raddon’s resignation, indieWIRE published a story discussing the controversy, detailing various voices from the independent film community.
At the time of that article, Film Independent issued a statement saying that the organization is, “supporting the civil rights of all individuals.” Continuing the statement added, “At the same time, our organization does not police the personal, religious, or political choices of any employee, member, or filmmaker.”
After Raddon’s resignation, Senior Director Sean McManus and Director of Programming Rachel Rosen served as Interim Co-Directors. They have now been replaced by Yeldham and maintain their previous roles.