Prior to coming on board, he launched in 2012 CineCause, a philanthropic platform connecting socially relevant films to related causes, and served as the co-founder and former executive director for Slamdance, AFI Fest, Santa Barbara and Abu Dhabi film festivals, among others.
In addition to his hire, the festival announced some new initiatives to "bridge the gap" between Hollywood and the global creative community. These include their new Hollywood Network program, a screening event meant to initiate meetings between independent filmmakers and Hollywood industry professionals; combining sister organization Hollywood Gives Back with CineCause for the CineCause Spotlight section; and offering a select number of short films exclusively online.
"I’m very excited to have the chance to build on the success of the Hollywood Film Festival, and look forward to incorporating these new elements," Fitzgerald said in a statement. "Filmmakers will have opportunities to expand their connections, leverage entertainment to recognize important causes and broaden their reach to the online community, here in the film capital of the world."
The festival runs from October 17-21 at the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood.