Robert Koehler Resigns As Film Society of Lincoln Center Programming Director

The New Guard

Robert Koehler (left) and Kent Jones are stepping in for Pena.

Dennis Lim named director of Cinematheque Programming.

Citing family health issues, Robert Koehler has resigned as the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s director of year-round programming. To succeed him, the FSLC has named film critic and programmer Dennis Lim to the post of director of Cinematheque Programming.

Koehler was appointed to his role at the Film Society in September, when he and Kent Jones were chosen to head up programming efforts as Richard Pena stepped down as the organization’s programming director after 25 years. Jones was put in charge of programming for the New York Film Festival, while Koehler, who had worked as a critic and festival programmer in Los Angeles, was selected to program the Film Society’s year-round offerings.

FSLC executive director Rose Kuo said of Koelher, who is stepping down immediately to return to Los Angeles to focus on personal matters, “Bob brought a lot of fresh new ideas and innovation to the Film Society during his tenure and we are sorry to see him go. We wish him and his family well and send him our support during this challenging time. We will continue to move forward in a new direction while maintaining our commitment to excellence with the appointment of Dennis Lim as the new Director of Cinematheque Programming. Dennis' knowledge about our organization, his important contributions to film writing and his talent as a programmer make him an ideal partner and leader in the organization's development and growth."

Koehler issued a statement saying, “I am leaving the position of director of programming both with a sense of regret, particularly the feeling of personal separation from a wonderful staff and programming team, as well as absolute confidence, given the entrance of Dennis Lim, who has been a friend, colleague and fellow cinephile for several years and whom the Film Society is extraordinarily fortunate to have in a leadership role. I believe that we have laid a foundation for a new and exciting era at Film Society, and I also look forward to contributing in numerous capacities to the Film Society’s growth.”

As director of programming for the Cinematheque, Lim will oversee the year-round retrospectives, festivals and screening series. He will officially begin his new role at the Film Society on April 1. Jones will expand his current duties and oversee all programming in the interim.

Lim has been a frequent contributor to the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times since 2006. His writing has also appeared in Artforum, Cinema Scope, and the Village Voice, where he was the film editor from 2000-2006. He is the founding editor of Moving Image Source, the online magazine of the Museum of the Moving Image in New York, where he has also organized film series and retrospectives. He teaches in the Cultural Reporting and Criticism graduate program at New York University’s Journalism Institute, was the programmer of the 2010 Robert Flaherty Film Seminar, and served on the New York Film Festival selection committee from 2009-2011. He also is completing a book for Amazon Publishing on David Lynch.

“I’m excited and honored to be joining an institution that has played a central role in the vitality of New York film culture and meant a great deal to me personally as a writer and a moviegoer,” said Lim. “I look forward to collaborating with Rose Kuo, Kent Jones, and the rest of the staff in developing a programming vision that both lives up to the illustrious history of the Film Society and opens new paths for its future."