Her decision to leave follows the departure of a major sponsor, the Discovery Channel. That development has also changed the platform of AFI, which has moved their programming from Silver Spring, MD to downtown Washington, D.C. The change in location also marks the end of AFI's nationally recognized filmmakers' conference and opens doors to a more political and social approach to promoting their nonfiction films instead.
“I just felt that I had given what I could to the event, and it was time for me to start exploring other things,” Sitney told The Washington Post. “It felt like a natural time, having seen [the festival] go through that challenging adjustment, to kind of pave the way both for myself to shift into new gears, and to create space for new leadership to come into the festival and take it into its next chapter.”
Her resignation will not affect her other responsibilities, which include working as a visiting faculty member in the Film and Media department at Georgetown University and consulting with documentary filmmakers.
This year’s AFI Docs will get underway June 18 and run through June 22.