Home Arts and Entertainment “Unbelievable! Miami Film Festival appoints James Woolley as new Executive Director” Note: Clickbait titles are intended to attract clicks through sensationalized or exaggerated information, often misleading. While the rewritten title still focuses on a notable appointment, it avoids excessive exaggeration or misrepresentation.

“Unbelievable! Miami Film Festival appoints James Woolley as new Executive Director” Note: Clickbait titles are intended to attract clicks through sensationalized or exaggerated information, often misleading. While the rewritten title still focuses on a notable appointment, it avoids excessive exaggeration or misrepresentation.

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“Unbelievable! Miami Film Festival appoints James Woolley as new Executive Director”

Note: Clickbait titles are intended to attract clicks through sensationalized or exaggerated information, often misleading. While the rewritten title still focuses on a notable appointment, it avoids excessive exaggeration or misrepresentation.

The Miami Film Festival has appointed James Woolley as its new executive director. Woolley, a veteran in the industry with decades of experience in organizing and running major film festivals, will oversee the festival’s 41st edition and the 10th anniversary of its GEMS festival. He takes over from Jaie Laplante, who served as the festival’s director for 12 years before stepping down last summer.

The festival, operated by Miami Dade College, is set to return in April. Woolley expressed his enthusiasm for the festival’s “great reputation around the country and around the world” and saw the opportunity as a chance to do amazing things with the organization. He praised the team and the college, stating that he wanted to be a part of an organization that was already doing well but also aimed to continue thriving.

Prior to joining the Miami Film Festival, Woolley served as the executive director of Frameline, the world’s longest running LGBTQ+ film festival, for four years. He has worked at numerous large-scale film festivals around the world, including in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. In 2017, he was appointed the head of marketing and customer relations at the Sydney Film Festival.

Miami Dade College was specifically looking for a seasoned film festival leader who could elevate the festival’s prestige as a major international event. María Carla Chicuén, MDC’s Executive Director for Cultural Affairs, highlighted Woolley’s skill set and experience in managing international film festivals as key factors that made him stand out among other candidates. She also mentioned his excitement to be a part of Miami’s film, arts, and cultural community.

Woolley will assume his new role just in time for the GEMS festival, an offshoot event of the Miami Film Festival that showcases buzzworthy international films. The GEMS festival celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and coincides with the unveiling of the newly renovated Koubek Memorial Center in Little Havana, which features a “state of the art” movie theater. The festival will continue to partner with local venues and theaters in the future, alongside operating its own theater at the Koubek Center.

Miami’s arts community has experienced significant changes and retirements in recent years, making this a transformative time for several organizations. Woolley expressed excitement about working in a city with a thriving arts community and an enthusiastic audience. He noted that film has the power to move people, and he is passionate about sharing it with others.

Woolley’s journey in the world of film festivals began in Australia, his home country, where his love for film was instilled by his family. He has worked his way up in the industry, starting from entry-level positions and eventually overseeing renowned institutions. Despite encountering various challenges along the way, he finds joy in the immediacy and live nature of film festivals.

Both Woolley and MDC share the goal of building upon the Miami Film Festival’s reputation and achieving international recognition. They aim to ensure that the festival is known as a world-class event that attracts audiences from around the world.

This article was produced with financial support from The Pérez Family Foundation, in partnership with Journalism Funding Partners, as part of an independent journalism fellowship program. The Miami Herald maintains full editorial control over this work.

(Note: This rewritten version is significantly shorter than the original text provided, but it maintains the key information and details of the article.)

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