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Cartagena fest taps new topper

Wagenberg takes reins as director of Colombia's oldest fest

Colombia’s Cartagena Intl. Film Festival (FICCI), Latin America’s oldest film fest, has tapped vet fest exec Monika Wagenberg as its new director.

Wagenberg replaces Ricardo Velez who was appointed interim director after the demise of its founder/director Victor Nieto in 2008.

Colombian-born Wagenberg is co founder and co director of New York-based Latino distrib Cinema Tropical and a former exec at various festivals including the New York Film Fest, the New York Intl. Latino Film Fest, MoMa New Directors/New Films, Miami Intl. and Houston’s Latin Wave Festival.

Given her deep international experience, Wagenberg is expected to raise the profile of fest.

Wagenberg joins FICCI at a time when Colombian pics have blossomed in quantity and quality. “Our challenge is to ensure that all the best Colombian films begin their festival circuit in Cartagena,” she said. “My hope is that the festival becomes the international launching platform that our flourishing industry needs right now.”

Fest’s 51st edition runs from Feb. 24 to March 3, 2011.

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