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Marten Rabarts, current head of EYE International at the EYE Film Museum Netherlands, has been appointed Film Festival Director – Kaiurungi to lead the New Zealand International Film Festival.

He starts the new position in October 2019 and will oversee the 2020 edition. The 2019 NZIFF, taking place in July and August, has been programmed with significant input from Bill Gosden, who retired at the end of March after 40 years. It will be delivered by the existing NZIFF programming team which includes program manager Michael McDonnell and programmer Sandra Reid.

Rabarts was born in New Zealand but has lived in Australia, the U.K., the U.S., India, and for most of the last 20 years in The Netherlands. Past jobs have included artistic director of the Binger FilmLab, and head of training and development at the NFDC in India.

“A film festival can’t pretend to offer easy answers in our turbulent times, but I look forward to presenting films and unique cinema voices from our own Pacific region and around the world that pose the most urgent and artistically intriguing questions of our times, just as NZIFF has done for the past 50 years,” said Rabarts.

The New Zealand Film Festival Trust board said it was particularly impressed with Rabarts’ “passion for creating international opportunities for homegrown talent and amplifying unique voices in cinema, across all his work in sales, production, development and marketing.”

“It will be difficult to see Marten leave the Eye family, and the Dutch film industry where he has spent more than 20 years as a key member of our community,” said Sandra den Hamer, director of the Eye Film Museum.