The festival made the announcement Thursday on the opening day of the Toronto International Film Festival, where Lerman serves as acting head of programming and primetime programmer. He’s also the artistic director for the Philadelphia Film Society, where he has worked since 2005.
Du Toit had served as artistic director and acting festival director for this year’s Palm Springs festival. Du Toit had joined the festival in in 2009 as programming director but her contract was not renewed, according to a festival spokesman.
Lerman will oversee all artistic decisions for the 28th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival that runs from Jan. 2-16.
“Michael Lerman is a young but very seasoned film festival veteran who brings a keen eye for identifying and curating remarkable films and filmmaker talent,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “He is an exemplary match for the Palm Springs International Film Festival. We were very impressed with his programming work at the Toronto International Film Festival and are honored to have him join our Palm Springs team.”