Tribeca Film Institute, the non-profit organization founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff, has upped noted producer Amy Hobby to executive director, effective immediately.
Hobby (pictured, left), whose work with the 2015 Netflix documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? earned her an Oscar nomination, previously served as vice president of artists programming. In her new role, she will oversee TFI’s programming, including the artists programs, education and interactive departments and their roster of programs, as well as the overall management of the organization.
Since joining the institute in November 2015, Hobby has overseen the expansion of the flagship grant program Tribeca All Access, a funding program that supports fiction and documentary directors, writers, and producers who are based in the U.S. and Puerto Rico and come from communities underrepresented in the film industry.
She is also credited with promoting the growth of TFI’s workshops for filmmakers, and securing a $600,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for a new program focused on doc shorts.
In a phone interview with realscreen, Hobby said the biggest challenge for her this year will be engaging new audiences, and opening them up to stories outside of their own experiences. Hobby said the election of U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump and social atmosphere around the campaign over the past year has highlighted how fractured American society had become.
“If we can tell human stories, people from different cultures — say a coal miner from West Virginia, a Muslim filmmaker born in Ohio — if we can get those people talking to each other through human stories, I think that is something we would try and do. But it’s not an easy task,” she said.
She is also looking to strengthen TFI’s global partnerships with organizations like Greenhouse Forum that nurtures filmmakers in North Africa and The Middle East. Also, The Dubai Film Connection which aims to promote Arab filmmakers and native film production in the region.
Hobby will continue to support her production company, Tangerine, which she launched with business partner Anne Hubbell in 2011, in an advisory capacity.
Interim executive director Amy Ponder stepped down at the end of 2016, after having been in the role since February 2015.
David Earls (pictured, right) rejoins the institute in the new role of managing director. Earls said he has come back to TFI because he missed being in a creative and philanthropic atmosphere. His new role will see him in charge of TFI’s financial oversight, corporate governance, business affairs and fundraising and communications.
From 2003 to 2012, he served as the head of individual giving and returns to the Institute after launching his New York-based investment fund, B.E. Capital Management.
Earls said his goal as managing director is to bring new donors into the fold.
“There is nobody in the universe of people I’m not wanting to talk to. Everyone is a potential donor… I want to raise as much money as I can so Amy and the team can do all the great work they do,” he said.