Rose Kuo to head Lincoln Center film group

Replacing outgoing executive director Mara Manus

Rose Kuo has been named executive director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, where she will replace Mara Manus, who is exiting that post after almost two years.

Kuo, a well-regarded figure in the film festival world, served as artistic director of Los Angeles' AFI Fest for three years before leaving that festival in December. She founded the festival consulting firm Festworks with former colleagues from AFI Fest and has been serving as co-director of the Santa Fe Film Festival.

Manus, who previously headed New York's Public Theater, joined the Film Society, which produces the annual New York Film Festival, in late 2008.

Her tenure was marked by controversy since budget cutbacks forced the layoffs of many long-time staff members. At the same time, she oversaw the construction of the new Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, encompassing two new theaters and an amphitheater space at the Society's Lincoln Center headquarters.

"Mara Manus stewarded us through significant organizational changes during a difficult period for all non-profit organizations and we are grateful for her contributions," Ann Tenenbaum, chair of the FSLC board of directors said Friday. "We're extremely fortunate that on the eve of the biggest expansion in the Film Society's history, we could turn to Rose Kuo, who has just the right expertise in creating dynamic experiences where film programmers, film-makers, and audiences can interact."

"At a time when both audiences and media are changing radically, our goal is to expand into multiple platforms so that audiences can be a part of our film community anytime, anywhere. Rose has the particular experience and ability to lead that effort." Daniel Stern, president of the board, said.

Kuo has also worked as a programming consultant for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and for the Santa Barbara, San Francisco, and Mill Valley Film Festivals.

She produced and directed the documentary "California AIDS Ride '94"; she exec produced Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland's "The Fluffer"; and is a producer of "Sembene!" She has worked as a camera assistant to cinematographer Haskell Wexler, as an assistant editor under Thelma Schoonmaker, and for such directors as Michael Mann, Paul Schrader, and Martin Scorsese.

"I have known Rose for many years and respect her broad knowledge of contemporary cinema, and I'm looking forward to forging a close working relationship with her," Richard Pena, the Society's long-time programming head said.

Manus will play a transitional role through July.