Jessie Fairbanks Named Director of Programming at San Francisco Film Festival

Jesse Fairbanks
Courtesy of SFFILM.

Jesse Fairbanks

Fairbanks comes to SFFILM after programming stints at DOC NYC, Tribeca and, more recently, the Hot Springs documentary festival.

The San Francisco International Film Festival, known as SFFILM, has named Jessie Fairbanks as its new director of programming.

Fairbanks will oversee film and offscreen programming for both the SFFILM festival and the organization’s year-round offerings. She comes to San Francisco after picking features for DOC NYC, Tribeca Film Festival and MountainFilm, and more recently was director of programming for the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival.

"As a dynamic programmer and producer, filmmaker champion and innovative thinker, Jessie will bring her wide-ranging experience and deep commitment to lead our festival and year-round programming into our next exciting chapter," SFFILM executive director Anne Lai said in a statement.

With more than 15 years of experience in the indie film space, Fairbanks also worked at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York Film Festival and Sundance Film Festival.

"These first few months will be both challenging and exciting as we finalize our festival and plan for the rest of 2021. In a time of shifting paradigms, both within the film industry and the world at large, I am excited to ask questions about process and theory, and to craft new pathways of discovery in the virtual landscape," Fairbanks said in her own statement as she takes the programming reins for the upcoming 2021 SFFILM Festival set for April 9 to 18.

The SFFILM festival is billed as the longest-running film festival in America and was an early supporter of filmmakers such as Spike Lee, Barry Jenkins, Ryan Coogler and Blindspotting filmmaker Carlos Lopez Estrada.