Continuing its commitment to international film coverage, Variety has upped London-based contributor Guy Lodge to the position of film critic and features writer.

Previously a critic for the entertainment news outlet HitFix, Lodge will now write exclusively for Variety but will contribute occasional reviews and features to British consumer publications. He has been a freelance film critic for Variety since 2011, writing about new American and British theatrical releases while also covering festivals including Cannes, Sundance, Venice, Berlin, London and Edinburgh. He will continue to cover the full spectrum of international cinema in his new assignment, which begins this week at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival.

Lodge’s promotion follows Variety‘s recent move to strengthen its reviewer ranks, which began last year with the consolidation of three chief film critics: Justin Chang (based in Los Angeles), Scott Foundas (New York) and Peter Debruge (Paris). Along with Debruge and Rome-based critic Jay Weissberg, Lodge will continue to play a key role in the publication’s European film coverage going forward.

“Guy is one of the finest critics in the business, an impeccable writer with a deep knowledge and wide-ranging appreciation of all forms of cinema,” Chang said. “Peter, Scott and I are thrilled to see such a brilliant colleague taking on an even greater role at Variety.”

Lodge will also serve as a regular contributor in the magazine’s features department, reporting to VP and executive editor Steven Gaydos and deputy editor Carole Horst.

Born in Johannesburg and raised in South Africa and the U.S., Lodge began his career as a critic in 2008 for the awards blog In Contention, which merged with HitFix in 2011. He writes a weekly home entertainment column for the Observer, and his work has also appeared in the Guardian, Time Out, Empire, the Evening Standard and Little White Lies.

Lodge is a member of the London Film Critics’ Circle. He holds a degree in theater and film studies and French literature from the U. of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, as well as an M.A. in screenwriting from the London Film School.