Artistic director leaves Edinburgh film fest

Search for successor for Hannah McGill to start soon

LONDON - Hannah McGill, the Edinburgh International Film Festival artistic director of four years, is leaving to pursue other interests.

EIFF chairman Iain Smith noted McGill had been at the artistic helm of a festival during four years of change that had seen the event switch dates from August to June. She had also helped steer it towards a point where it was able to bill itself as a festival showcasing new talent to its public audience.

McGill took up the reins as artistic director in 2006 having spent five years with the festival as a program consultant. The festival took what was widely regarded a bold gamble in 2008, shifting from its long-standing traditional August festival season slot in the Scottish capital to a standalone calendar date in June.

McGill said: "I wish the Festival the very best for its next phase - and I look forward to being in the audience."

The PPG award for best performance in a British movie and best international feature nod were both introduced to the festival's roster of awards by McGill.

She will be hand to provide support for the Festival until later in the year with the recruitment for her successor to begin soon, organizers said. McGill's exit completes a broader management shakeup at what is one of the longest-running movie shindigs in the world after former managing director Ginnie Atkinson stepped down at the beginning of the year.

The next EIFF is scheduled for June 15 - 26, 2011.
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