Posted by Larry Gleeson
SEATTLE – August 2, 2017 – Beth Barrett, former Director of Programming, has been named SIFF’s new Artistic Director. With her advancement, Barrett becomes SIFF’s first female Artistic Director, one of only a select few women in the United States holding this position for a major film festival. Barrett assumed the mantle of Interim Artistic Director last October, leading the organization though a very successful 43rd Seattle International Film Festival.
Reflecting on her years at SIFF, Beth said, “Having been part of SIFF for the last 15 years, during times of growth and change, I am constantly amazed at the staff, board, and members’ commitment to the work we do and the community we have built. I am honored and excited to shepherd the organization into the next chapter.”
Barrett began her career at SIFF in 2003, in the Publications department as a volunteer Copy Editor. By 2006 she had worked her way up to Programming Manager, eventually moving into the role of Director of Programming in 2011. Since then has been responsible for managing all aspects of film programming, from overseeing the staff of film programmers, to securing films and guests for the Festival. Barrett has also been instrumental in the programming and management of SIFF Cinema and SIFF’s other year-round programs. An aficionado of short films, she helped secure SIFF’s status as an Academy Award® qualifying festival in 2008.
“Beth is, without a doubt, the right person to lead SIFF’s artistic programming into the future. She has a deep knowledge of and commitment to film and our community that is expressed beautifully through her artistic choices. SIFF is very lucky to have her on our team,” said Sarah Wilke, SIFF’s Executive Director.
“Beth has played a key role in SIFF’s growth for over a decade. Along with her artistic vision she brings a ton of passion and energy,” said Rich Fassio, SIFF Board President. “This is an exciting time for our organization; SIFF is experiencing consistent upward growth and we are about to conclude another record year. The Board looks forward to supporting Beth as she continues SIFF’s mission to bring the best of the world of cinema to Puget Sound and beyond.”
Founded in 1976, SIFF creates experiences that bring people together to discover extraordinary films from around the world with the Seattle International Film Festival, SIFF Cinema, and SIFF Education. Recognized as one of the top film festivals in North America, the Seattle International Film Festival is the largest, most highly attended film festival in the United States, reaching more than 140,000 annually. The 25-day festival is renowned for its wide-ranging and eclectic programming, presenting over 450 features, short films, and documentaries from over 80 countries each year. The 44th annual Seattle International Film Festival will be held May 17 through June 10, 2018. SIFF Cinema exhibits premier theatrical engagements, repertory, classic, and revival film showings 365 days a year on five screens at the SIFF Cinema Uptown, SIFF Cinema Egyptian, and SIFF Film Center, reaching more than 175,000 attendees annually. SIFF Education offers educational programs for all audiences serving more than 13,000 students and youth in the community with free programs each year.
(Press release via siff.org)