Less than six months after he was announced as one of the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s two new Directors of Programming, Robert Koehler is resigning his position “due to family health issues.” Koehler and Kent Jones — both critics and writers of considerable talents and resumes — were hired last September to replace the Film Society’s outgoing director, Richard Pena. Jones was put in charge of the New York Film Festival and Koehler the day-to-day programming at Lincoln Center’s numerous theaters. But now, according to a press release from the FSLC, Koehler “will step down and return to Los Angeles to focus on personal matters.”
His replacement will be another film critic turned programmer: Dennis Lim, former film editor of The Village Voice and frequent contributor to The New York Times. Lim — who was my boss when I worked at the Voice as an intern in the mid-2000s — has also worked as a programmer for the Museum of the Moving Image, where he’s the founding editor of their criticism website, Moving Image Source. At the Film Society’s website, Brian Brooks has a brief interview with Lim about the job. Here’s how he described his reaction to being offered the position:
“It’s both a great privilege and a great responsibility to be programming for such a discerning and knowledgable audience. I’m certainly mindful of the legacy of the Film Society. New York film culture as we know it would be unthinkable without the vision of Amos Vogel and Richard Roud, the founders of the New York Film Festival. And I consider myself a direct beneficiary of the good taste and the far-sighted efforts of those who followed in their path, not least Richard Pena, whom I had the pleasure of working with on three editions of the NYFF, and Kent Jones, whom I’m delighted to count as a colleague now.”
Koehler’s resignation is effective immediately; Jones will assume his duties temporarily. Lim officially joins the staff of the FSLC on April 1st.
Read more of “Lim Replacing Koehler as Director of Cinematheque Programming.”