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South African Named New Sydney Film Festival Director

Nashen Moodley joins Sydney Fest after 10 years at the Durban International Film Festival.

SYDNEY -- The Sydney Film Festival has found its new director, hiring Nashen Moodley, the head of Programming for the Durban International Film Festival, organizers said Wednesday.

Announcing the appointment, the NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events, George Souris, said Moodley brings to the Sydney Film Festival more than a decade of experience in his current role at the helm of what is South Africa’s longest running film festival.

“During his time at the Durban International Film Festival Nashen has been responsible for expanding both the event’s content and boosting audience numbers. He is also recognized for generating further promotion of the South African film industry through the creation of the Durban FilmMart program. Mr. Moodley is internationally renowned and I am confident he will produce exciting and cutting edge Sydney Film Festivals,” Souris said.

Outgoing director Clare Stewart announced her departure after five years at the close of this year’s festival in June. During her tenure the festival introduced the Sydney Film Prize, the country’s first international competition.

“Nashen Moodley joins Sydney Film Festival at a time of great strength and growth. His strong international film festival connections and curatorial flare ensure that Sydney will continue to be presented the best films and filmmakers from around the world; whilst highlighting the great films and talent of the Australian film industry,” SFF Chairman, Chris Freeland added.

Moodley has also been an industry consultant at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, a regular expert guest as part of the Programme Events at the Berlinale Talent Campus, curated the first South African Film Festival in Tehran and been an adviser to several other festivals including India’s International Film Festival of Kerala, South Korea’s Busan International Film Festival and Africala in Mexico City.

Moodley will work alongside the festival‘s CEO Leigh Small. He joins in January.