Docs

Lumpkin to succeed Sitney as AFI Docs fest director

Michael Lumpkin (pictured) is stepping down as exec director of the International Documentary Association (IDA) to become the director of Washington DC-based film festival AFI Docs.
December 11, 2014

Michael Lumpkin (pictured) is stepping down as exec director of the International Documentary Association (IDA) to become the director of Washington DC-based film festival AFI Docs.

He leaves the non-profit membership organization after six years at the helm. There is no word as of yet on who will be replacing him there.

As he takes on the new role, Lumpkin will remain based in Los Angeles. “AFI Docs leadership will be bi-coastal, with managing director Kyle O’Connor in DC, and me based in LA at AFI Headquarters,” he tells realscreen. “I will be in DC frequently.”

Lumpkin’s move comes after long-serving AFI Docs festival director Sky Sitney resigned from the position in February this year.

“Michael is uniquely qualified to lead AFI Docs into the future,” said Bob Gazzale, president and CEO of the American Film Institute (AFI), the festival’s parent company, in a statement.

“His is a life lived at the heart of the documentary community, and we are proud to know he’ll be overseeing AFI’s efforts to bring together America’s leading artists with its nation’s leaders – elevating the art form’s ability to effect change.”

Prior to joining the IDA, Lumpkin held positions at Frameline and at the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival. He also coproduced the documentary The Celluloid Closet.

In addition to hiring Lumpkin, AFI has also secured telecoms firm AT&T to return as AFI Docs’ presenting sponsor.

“We are proud to continue our support for AFI Docs, which offers tremendous value to the entertainment industry and society – with the potential to inspire important change,” said Lori Lee, AT&T’s senior exec VP for home solutions, “and we congratulate Michael Lumpkin on his appointment.”

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.

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