Tom Perlmutter (pictured) is to step down as government film commissioner and chair of the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) at the end of this year.
Though his term is not due to end until 2017, the NFB said in a statement issued Tuesday (December 10) that Perlmutter wanted to “devote himself to thinking and writing about the long-term issues affecting the arts and public cultural organizations.”
His resignation will be effective December 31 and Claude Joli-Cœur, the current assistant commissioner, has been named interim commissioner. Joli-Cœur previously served in this capacity from December 2006 to June 2007.
The process for appointing the next commissioner will begin in 2014 and should be completed during the year, the NFB said.
In a statement, Perlmutter said: “For some time now, I have been searching for a way to step back from the day-to-day responsibilities of the film commissioner and focus on long-term strategic issues.
“My deep engagement with the profound changes of the digital revolution made me acutely aware of how necessary it is to create a new framework of ideas for the ways in which we will need to think of, work in and finance cultural activities in the public sector.
“This is an ambitious undertaking which I believe I am uniquely qualified to take on and which I am convinced is fundamental to the future well-being of the country and its cultural agencies. But it is not something that can be done as an adjunct to my current work.”
Following his resignation, Perlmutter will stay on at the NFB as a strategic advisor with a focus on “the future of public space, the changing dynamics of creation, and new financial opportunities anchored in the NFB’s mandate and its commitment to innovation,” the organization said. He also plans to write two books.
Perlmutter joined the NFB in December 2001 as director general of the English program, and became head of the organization in 2007, succeeding Jacques Bensimon.