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LAFF Leadership Shift: David Ansen Steps Down, Elvis Mitchell Promoted

LAFF Leadership Shift: David Ansen Steps Down, Elvis Mitchell Promoted

Film Independent today announced that it has restructured its programming team with the mutually agreed-upon departure of David Ansen from his role as Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Film Festival and Elvis Mitchell assuming the newly created year-round position of Film Independent Curator.

“I am thrilled to announce Elvis Mitchell as our new Film Independent Curator,” said Josh Welsh, President of Film Independent, in a statement. “For the last three years, Elvis has done a phenomenal job programming the Film Independent series at LACMA, and we’re excited that he will now oversee the Festival’s programming as well.”

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Ansen joined the Los Angeles Film Festival as Artistic Director in 2010. He is a member of the National Society of Film Critics and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and is a three-time winner of the Page One Award from the Newspaper Guild of New York. He’s written for Newsweek, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times Book Review, Film Comment, Interview, Cineaste and other publications. He has also written several documentaries for television, including the Ace Award-winning “All About Bette” for TNT.

“These five years as Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Film Festival have given me great joy, and I’m very proud of the way the Festival has grown since our move downtown. Working alongside my sterling programming team, led by the incomparable Doug Jones and Maggie Mackay, and getting the chance to bring so many terrific movies and filmmakers to the Los Angeles audience has made this a dream job,” said Ansen. “Now it’s time to turn over the reins to make way for a new vision of the Festival’s future, and I look forward to getting back to writing and pursuing new prospects. I want to thank Film Independent and its great team for giving me this wonderful experience.”

Mitchell, his replacement of sorts, has for the past three years transformed the film program at LACMA, pioneering the Jason Reitman Live Read series. Previously he has worked as a film and entertainment critic for The New York Times, NPR’s “Weekend Edition,” the Fort Worth Star Telegram, LA Weekly and the Detroit Free Press. He also produced and co-created the NAACP Image Award winning “The Black List, Volume One,” a documentary focusing on achievement in the African American community.

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