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The San Francisco International Film Festival has announced that Jessie Fairbanks will join the organization, leading the festival, year-round offerings and off-screen programming.

Fairbanks, who has worked with DOC NYC and Tribeca Film Festival, joins SFFILM on Jan. 25.

The 2021 festival is scheduled for April 9-18. The longest-running film festival in the Americas, it was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

“I am delighted to welcome Jessie to this critical role at SFFILM,” said executive director Anne Lai. “As a dynamic programmer and producer, filmmaker champion, and innovative thinker, Jessie will bring her wide ranging experience and deep commitment to lead our Festival and year-round programming into our next exciting chapter. I look forward to bringing Jessie’s curatorial vision to our wonderfully savvy audience of film lovers here in the Bay Area, particularly at a moment of great change in how we consume film. She will be an invaluable part of SFFILM’s leadership team in tackling the most crucial opportunities and challenges that we face as a film and cultural institution going forward.”

“I am thrilled to return to my home state of California and honored to join SFFILM, a legacy organization that has long elevated new filmmakers and celebrates the vibrancy and history of cinema,” said Fairbanks. “These first few months will be both challenging and exciting as we finalize our Festival and plan for the rest of 2021.”

Most recently, she was director of programming for the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, and has also done programming for the Chicago International Film Festival, Hamptons International Film Festival, MountainFilm, Nashville Film Festival, Rooftop Films, and Woods Hole Film Festival. Fairbanks is also on the nominating committee for Cinema Eye Honors, the selection committee for the Film Independent Spirit Awards, and a grant evaluator for Chicken & Egg Pictures.