Scarlet latest Tribeca twist

Artistic director departs one week after Sundance's Gilmore joins up

Tribeca Film Festival artistic director Peter Scarlet has said he is resigning just two months ahead of this year's event, the film festival world's second high- profile exit in as many weeks.

The news comes a week after Sundance Film Festival director Geoff Gilmore left his longtime position to take the role of chief creative officer at Tribeca Enterprises, the company that runs the festival.

Reps for Tribeca said Friday that the moves were coincidental, and Scarlet said in a statement he simply was ready for new challenges.

Still, for some in the festival world, the timing of Scarlet's move — on the heels of the Gilmore hire and just before the March 9 unveiling of this year's Tribeca slate — couldn't be entirely dismissed.

"Even if they're not directly related, both these moves seem to be symptoms of a larger executive change going on at Tribeca," one specialty executive said.

Tribeca will turn to longtime executive David Kwok, the director of programming, and Genna Terranova, an indie-world veteran who joined last year as senior programmer, to handle programming responsibilities. The fest is not expected to replace Scarlet.

Gilmore will not serve in any programming capacity, at least this year, focusing instead on strategic initiatives. He and Tribeca leaders have said his role in future festivals is still taking shape.

Scarlet has been with Tribeca since its inception in 2002, serving as executive director and most recently as artistic director. He was one of the festival's public faces, introducing filmmakers ahead of screenings much the same as Gilmore did at Sundance.

As for Gilmore's old post, Sundance is expected to begin the replacement process soon. Many are waiting to see whether the festival will promote John Cooper, the longtime second-in-command, or make an outside hire.

Steven Zeitchik reported from Los Angeles; Georg Szalai reported from New York.