Film Independent has named Rebecca Yeldham director of the Los Angeles Film Festival, filling the slot left vacant four months ago by the departure of Richard Raddon.
Yeldham is a member of Film Independent’s board and a two-decade veteran of the festival biz, including stints as a senior programmer at Sundance and associate director of the Sundance Institute’s international programs.
Yeldham’s a producing partner with Walter Salles and is currently developing “On the Road.” She’s in post-production on the documentary “Searching for the Road”; other credits include “The Kite Runner,” “The Motorcycle Diaries” and “Anvil! The Story of Anvil.”
The Australian native also served stints as an exec at Fox/Lorber and FilmFour.
She indicated that she wants the festival to embrace both studio and indie fare but isn’t anticipating making any immediate changes to the event, set for June 18-28 in Westwood Village, with an expected audience of more than 100,000 and more than 175 features, docs and short films.
“I feel like I’m jumping on a fast-moving train,” Yeldham told Daily Variety. “Obviously, everything in the business is in flux right now, and festivals have a major role to play in terms of exploring different paradigms in bringing films to market and exposing audiences to great movies — from studios and from independents.”
In January, Film Independent tapped senior director Sean McManus and director of programming Rachel Rosen as interim co-directors for the fest. Raddon resigned Nov. 25 in the wake of a barrage of protests over his $1,500 contribution to the successful Yes on Prop. 8 ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage in California.
Bill Condon, a trustee on the Film Independent board, said he believes Yeldham’s shown that she has the talent to improve the festival.
“Rebecca’s had an extremely successful career as a producer and it’s a great time for us to grow this festival because Los Angeles has such a unique base of support among the studios and filmmakers.”