The board of Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) has announced the appointment of Al Cossar as the festival’s new artistic director. He takes up the position formally in October.
Cossar has been acting as interim artistic director of this year’s festival for the outgoing MIFF director, Michelle Carey, who took maternity leave in October 2017. She has held the role for eight years.
“I’ve experienced the festival as a square-eyed fan and film obsessive, as a volunteer, as its programmer, and this year as its associate artistic director,” Cossar said in a statement. “I am both thrilled and honoured to take up this new role as artistic director in an organisation that I love.”
Cossar’s appointment was made after a “global search” for candidates to take over from Carey who is relocating to Germany.
MIFF board chair Claire Dobbin said:
“Both MIFF and Victorian audiences have benefitted from the extraordinary vision of Michelle Carey. Over the past eight years, the festivals that she curated have confirmed her status as a truly international cinephile, able to connect with audiences of all ages, tastes and sensibilities. She brought unseen and unforgettable worlds to us all and we will miss her.”
“Having known and admired him as the festival’s programmer and more recently as our interim artistic director, I’m delighted that Al Cossar is our next artistic director. Al’s encyclopaedic knowledge of cinema, deep understanding of festivals, his curatorial rigour and vision for the future of MIFF made him an irresistible choice.”
The MIFF 2018 program will be announced on Tuesday, July 10 and the festival will run from August 2-19.