The Tribeca Film Institute has promoted veteran film producer Amy Hobby to the role of executive director, effective January 3. Hobby joined TFI as vice president of artist programs in 2015, the same year she produced the Oscar-nominated Netflix documentary “What Happened, Miss Simone?” about legendary singer and civil rights activist Nina Simone. The film earned Hobby an Emmy Award and Peabody Award.
Hobby replaces TFI’s interim executive director Anna Ponder, who stepped down last month. Beth Janson held the position of executive director at TFI from 2009 to 2014. She left to become founding director of the Rent the Runway Foundation
before being named CEO of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television.
In her new role at TFI, Hobby will oversee all programming at the year-round nonprofit arts organization, which provides funding for filmmakers and has awarded more than $6.7 million to around 1,500 filmmakers globally through its Tribeca All Access program. Hobby previously spearheaded the expansion of the 14-year-old program, which is designed to support underrepresented artists and filmmakers.
“We’re trying to expand the program to have a more global presence and bring those filmmakers to meet with the U.S. industry,” Hobby told IndieWire in an interview. In addition to bringing filmmakers to its annual Network event, a three-day co-production market that takes place during the Tribeca Film Festival, TFI also aims to grow its filmmaker workshops around the world, having already established filmmaker labs in countries like Dubai, Laos and throughout Latin America.
Hobby also plans to build upon TFI’s restorative justice work, an initiative that supports youth and adults in prison through film screenings and workshops. “Our educational department oversees screenings at Otisville State Prison and we work with incarcerated youth at Rikers Island,” Hobby said. “It’s a highly unique program that a lot of people don’t know about.”
Taking over the executive director duties at TFI coincides with Hobby transitioning to an advisory role at Tangerine Entertainment, the film production company focused on women directors she co-founded in 2011 with Anne Hubbell. Tangerine has been growing its team with several new hires since Hobby joined TFI in 2015.
TFI has also re-hired David Earls in the new role of managing director, in charge of financial oversight, fundraising and business affairs. Earls was previously head of individual giving at TFI from 2003 to 2012, after which he ran his own investment fund. B.E. Capital Management.
TFI’s larger leadership team includes vice president of education Vee Bravo and senior director of interactive programs Opeyemi Olukemi. The organization recently raised more than $1.1 million at its annual benefit in November, the largest amount raised in the history of TFI.
The 2017 Tribeca Film Festival will run from April 19 to April 30, 2017.