Independent Television Service (ITVS) exec Claire Aguilar (pictured) is joining UK festival Sheffield Doc/Fest as its director of programming and industry engagement.
In the newly created role, Aguilar – who served as executive content advisor for the U.S. pubcaster – will curate the festival’s film program and also take part in industry training and mentoring as part of Sheffield’s year-round training workshops.
Aguilar joins Sheffield four months after the departure of its programming director Hussain Currimbhoy, who left the organization after seven years to join the Sundance Film Festival as a documentary programmer, as revealed by realscreen in September.
The industry-leaning aspect of her position also suggests she will be taking on some of the duties previously held by the festival’s former deputy director Charlie Phillips, who also exited Sheffield in September to take up a post as head of documentaries at UK media outlet The Guardian.
At ITVS, Aguilar worked on program content and strategy, commissioned programming from international filmmakers and co-curated PBS’s ‘Independent Lens’ series. Prior to joining ITVS, she served as a programmer for public broadcaster KCET Los Angeles and before this, worked as a film curator at the UCLA Film and Television Archive.
“She brings not just great curatorial skills but also a wealth of experience as a broadcaster and commissioning editor,” said Alex Graham, chair of Sheffield Doc/Fest, in a statement. “Increasingly there’s an organic link between the way we nurture young filmmakers and the quality of the films that end up in the festival program. Claire will play a vital role in extending and developing that link.”
Aguilar added: “Attending Doc/Fest as an industry delegate and speaker has long been a highlight of my year, and to now have the opportunity to become a part of this creative and dynamic festival is very exciting.
“I’m very much looking forward to joining the incredibly talented festival team, and to working with documentary filmmakers and producers from all over the world bringing their films to play at Doc/Fest and as part of the year-round training program,” she said.
The 22nd annual Sheffield Doc/Fest will run from June 5 to 10, 2015.