By Alison Willmore | Indiewire April 23, 2013 at 6:28PM
Christian Gaines, who has for five years served as director of festival strategy and business development at IMDb, overseeing the global expansion of Withoutabox, is leaving the film world for the art world.
ArtPrize, an international art competition, announced today that it has hired Gaines for the position of executive director. He'll oversee all aspects of the annual competition, including finance, operations, marketing and administration, continuing its path to self-sustainability with a goal of reaching it by the end of this year.
Before joining IMDb, Gaines was director of festivals at the American Film Institute (AFI), overseeing AFI Fest, helping to start SilverDocs (now AFI Docs) and representing AFI in the launch of the AFI Dallas International Film Festival (now the Dallas International Film Festival). He served as director of the Hawaii International Film Festival, a senior programmer at the Sundance Film Festival and director of new media at the Sundance Institute, and administrative director of the American Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival prior to that.
"I am looking forward to bringing my experience in arts and technology to ArtPrize and building upon its astonishing accomplishments to date," Gaines said in the announcement. "ArtPrize has momentum, and as the world's most eagerly anticipated showcase for emerging artists, I want this competition to continue to lower barriers for future generations of art lovers while inspiring artists to do their very best work."
Gaines and his family will be moving from Los Angeles to Grand Rapids, where ArtPrize is based.