Intl. Film Festival Rotterdam Names Former BFI London Film Festival Director Clare Stewart as MD

International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) has appointed former BFI London Film Festival director Clare Stewart to the position of managing director, taking over from Marjan van der Haar.

Stewart was most recently interim CEO at Sheffield DocFest and commences in the role at IFFR on June 21. IFFR has a dual leadership structure where the managing director and festival director oversee the commercial and creative elements of the organization respectively, working in partnership. Stewart previously consulted with the IFFR board of directors in 2021 in its first phase of re-evaluation prior to her joining DocFest, with a focus on the IFFR program structure and content strategy.

Stewart’s previous stints also include serving as director of BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival alongside her London Film Festival role; as festival director, Sydney Film Festival; and as the inaugural Head of Film Programs at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.

Korrie Louwes, chair of the IFFR supervisory board, said: “Clare has an unparalleled breadth of experience in strategically directing, and truly championing festivals – with a track record including some of the foremost celebrations of cinema in the world. In previous roles Clare has channelled her unique combination of creative understanding and business acumen to growing audiences, accelerating commercial success, and raising the profile of those events – as well as steering them through change. It’s a great coup to have her join the IFFR team and bring her multifaceted and insightful leadership to our organisation.”

Stewart added: “IFFR is a world-leading institution that creates meaningful, global impact for independent film and filmmakers, and it is also dear to my heart as the first international film festival I attended 25 years ago. It shaped my understanding of the interdependencies between cultural activity and industry development, and the importance of engaging a dedicated local audience while positioning a festival as vital for the international, independent film sector. Rotterdam is a city renowned for innovation, experimentation and discovery – characteristics that IFFR already champions through its artistic and industry programmes. This emphasis on bold, new ideas provides a strong cultural base to collaborate with festival director, Vanja Kaludjercic on her inspiring vision for building a festival that is both agenda-setting and responsive to change. I am excited to work with the talented IFFR team, the supervisory board and IFFR’s committed partners and stakeholders to forge a bright future for one of the Netherlands’ true cultural assets.”

IFFR festival director Vanja Kaludjercic said: “I am excited to be welcoming Clare to the IFFR team, and to Rotterdam as she makes this incredible city her new home. She brings a deep understanding of the artistic and commercial sides of a festival from her formidable career to date, which is perfectly suited to the dual leadership dynamic we have between our two roles. Her passion for IFFR is undeniable, and the team and I look forward to working together with her on the upcoming 2024 edition and beyond.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *