Gary McVey, director of the AFI Intl. Film Fest, has been named executive director of the American Cinema Foundation effective immediately.

McVey’s mandate will be to expand the organization’s activities, which presently include annual awards to films and individuals that embody “values that tie Americans together.” The ACF also conducts a screenwriting contest and conferences, and presents a series of theatrical productions.

Lionel Chetwynd, president of the nonprofit foundation, said McVey’s appointment was a major coup, and necessary in light of the org’s move toward national growth.

The highest-priority new program will be a traveling series titled the Freedom Film Festival. “We want to work with film institutes and cinematheques here and abroad to insure that audiences get a wider range of movies, issues and ideas,” said McVey.

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