Edinburgh International Film Festival Secures Artistic Director for Three Years

7:08 AM PST 07/05/2012 by Stuart Kemp

Organizers of the Scottish event ink a deal with Chris Fujiwara to lead the festival for a further three years after his first in the hotseat.

LONDON – Edinburgh International Film Festival organizers said Thursday the Scottish shindig has secured the services of artistic director Chris Fujiwara for a further three years.

Fujiwara's first year in the hot seat at the festival just came to a close with the 2012 event posting 40,000 admissions over the event's 12 days.

Securing Fujiwara's skills for a further three years after his debut efforts is a fillip for the Scottish event which found itself in turmoil two years ago amid management changes, key personnel departures and a decision to axe its competition sections.

One of the first moves Fujiwara made when he took the job at the festival in late 2011 was to re-introduce the long-running awards at the festival after a year's hiatus.

Fujiwara said: “Working on this year’s EIFF has been one of the most challenging and fulfilling experiences of my career. The interest and enthusiasm of the Festival audience and the dedication and professionalism of the Festival staff and volunteers have transformed my view of the importance cinema can hold in people’s lives. I’m deeply grateful to the Board for their confidence in me, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to expand our relationships with our audiences and with international filmmakers, distributors and sales agents. I’m very excited about working to shape the future of EIFF.”

EIFF board chairman Leslie Hills described Fujiwara's stamp on this year's festival as a "reinvention" for the event.

"We are utterly delighted that he has accepted our offer to build on this very promising first edition," Hills said.

Fujiwara's inaugural festival, the 66th edition, opened with William Friedkin’s Killer Joe and closed with the European premiere of Disney/Pixar’s Brave.

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