Via an announcement on their official website, word that Kent Jones and Robert Koehler will join the Film Society of Lincoln Center as the organization's two new Directors of Programming. Jones will head the New York Film Festival (whose 50th edition begins next month) while Koehler will work year-round for the Film Society and its numerous theaters. Jones and Koehler will replace Richard Peña, who closes out his duties at the upcoming New York Film Festival, his 25th with the Film Society.
As noted in the press release both Jones and Koehler have long and impressive backgrounds in film criticism:
"Kent Jones, a programmer, writer and filmmaker who began his programming career at Film Forum and the Rotterdam Film Festival, joined the Film Society of Lincoln Center in 1998 as the Associate Director of Programming and was a member of the New York Film Festival selection committee from 2002 through 2009. Jones is a 2012 Guggenheim Fellow and over the years he has worked closely with Martin Scorsese on a number of documentaries, including 'My Voyage to Italy' (2001), 'A Letter to Elia' (2010) and 'Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows' (2007). In 2007, his collection of writings, 'Physical Evidence,' was published and he recently edited a volume on the writings of Olivier Assayas.
"Film critic and journalist Robert Koehler, who joined AFI Fest in Los Angeles as the director of programming in 2009, was an instructor and programmer for UCLA Extension from 2003 – 2007. He also presented a film series entitled 'The Films That Got Away' at multiple venues in Los Angeles. Koehler was a theater critic for the LA Weekly and the Los Angeles Times and he has also written for numerous publications, including recent festival coverage for FilmLinc.com. His books include 'Cine Argentino 1999 – 2009' and 'On Film Festivals.'"
For more, check out the The New York Times' article on the news, which includes interviews with Jones and Koehler, and FilmLinc.com for the full story and press release on the announcement. You can also read Indiewire's take here. At the Film Society's Film Comment magazine, you'll also find a sort of passing-of-the-torch interview of Peña conducted by Jones. As a New Yorker and a fan of both men's work, I'm excited by the news and look forward to seeing what they bring to Lincoln Center.