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Michael Lumpkin named AFI Festivals director

The American Film Institute (AFI) has appointed Michael Lumpkin as director of AFI Festivals, replacing outgoing AFI Fest director Jacqueline Lyanga. In the new role, Lumpkin (pictured) will take on responsibility for both ...
June 13, 2018

The American Film Institute (AFI) has appointed Michael Lumpkin as director of AFI Festivals, replacing outgoing AFI Fest director Jacqueline Lyanga.

In the new role, Lumpkin (pictured) will take on responsibility for both AFI Fest and AFI Docs, which will be combined under his remit. AFI Fest, which takes place each fall in Hollywood, and AFI Docs, which takes place each June in Washington, DC, will continue to operate as separate festivals. Year-round programming and operations will be combined to streamline efforts with studios, distributors, sponsors and cultural partners.

Lumpkin has been the director of AFI Docs since 2015, and prior to that, was the executive director of the International Documentary Association over a six-year period. He also headed Frameline and its San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival for 25 years. In 1995, he produced the HBO documentary, The Celluloid Closet. 

Meanwhile Lyanga, who was previously the director of AFI Fest, is departing her role to pursue new opportunities. She’ll consult with AFI through June to aid in the transition.

“AFI has celebrated films at festivals since its founding more than 50 years ago,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI president and CEO, in a statement. “As the art form continues to evolve in exciting ways — so has the art of finding an audience, and this new structure will strengthen AFI’s voice on both coasts and across the nation.”

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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