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Sundance Institute Announces Next Festival Director: Eugene Hernandez


Dear Sundance community,

Over the summer we have been conducting a search for the Sundance Institute’s next Festival Director and head of public programming. We met with an exciting group of candidates and were inspired by the strength and diversity of their expertise and passion for the mission of Sundance.

I am thrilled to share that Eugene Hernandez will join the Institute’s leadership team as the next Director of the Sundance Film Festival and head of public programming. Eugene has spent much of his 25 year career leading and advising nonprofit arts organizations and is well known as an accomplished leader in the film and media industry.

This is a full circle moment for Sundance and Eugene, as he has been connected to the Institute since the early days of his career attending the Festival in the mid-1990s to build Indiewire, an online community for indie film. He’s been at the forefront of supporting independent artists and deeply invested in the careers of storytellers and the field as a whole. 

He will join us in November from Film at Lincoln Center (FLC), where he has spent the past 12 years, currently as Senior Vice President of FLC, Executive Director of the New York Film Festival, and publisher of Film Comment. He will be based between the New York and Los Angeles offices while also working in our Park City office.

In Eugene’s role, he will lead the Institute’s public programming while amplifying the importance of independent film and media. He will be responsible for guiding and overseeing the Festival’s overall vision and strategy while collaborating with Director of Programming Kim Yutani and the programming team, as well as the leadership team. 

I will continue to lead the upcoming 2023 Festival, working closely with Kim Yutani, along with the Institute’s leadership team. Eugene’s first festival leading as Director will be for our 40th anniversary Festival in 2024. 

I look forward to working closely with Eugene as he comes on board to shepherd the Festival and build out our public programming — shaping critical conversations all year round, supporting our artist community, and expanding the possibilities for Sundance audiences and artists alike. He joins at a critical time in the industry for independent filmmakers when the Institute has never played a more important role for artists, audiences, and the field in total. 

We are thrilled to have him join Sundance in a few months and know he will contribute greatly to the organization’s future and continue to have a meaningful impact on the community supporting and developing global storytellers.


Joana Vicente

CEO, Sundance Institute

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