Kent Jones to Step Down as Director of New York Film Festival

“Hitchcock/Truffaut” filmmaker will depart following the upcoming 57th edition of NYFF

Kent Jones, the director and selection committee chair of the New York Film Festival, will step down from his position following the upcoming 57th edition of the festival, Film at Lincoln Center announced Thursday.

Jones has been the director of the festival for seven years, and he’ll depart after the festival concludes, which takes place between Sept. 27 and Oct. 13. Film at Lincoln Center’s executive director Lesli Klainberg will oversee the transition of leadership, but no replacement has yet been announced. Jones will also continue to work with the team in an advisory role.

“At some point when I was pretty young and already deep into movies, the New York Film Festival became a beacon for me,” Jones said in a statement. “Throughout its history, it has been a true home for the art of cinema–that was how it began with Richard Roud and Amos Vogel, that was how it remained with my predecessor Richard Peña, and that was how I’ve done my best to maintain it. I thank my colleagues, I thank the board for sticking to the original mission, I thank our audiences, I thank our colleagues in the industry, but most of all I thank the filmmakers. It’s been a joy and an honor to present their work.”

“Beginning as a year-round programmer, Kent has shared his knowledge and passion for the movies with our Film at Lincoln Center audiences for almost twenty years,” Klainberg said in a statement. “On behalf of the Board and staff, I’m delighted to support him as he continues into the next phase of his career, making more of his own cinematic dreams come true, and we can’t wait to enjoy the results.”

Jones is citing both his burgeoning career as a filmmaker and the upcoming birth of his child as the reasons why he’s choosing to step down. He’s the director of the documentaries “Hitchcock/Truffaut” and of “A Letter to Elia,” but he most recently wrote and directed the critically acclaimed “Diane,” which made its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival back in 2018 and was released by IFC Films earlier this year.

He’s also a close personal friend with Martin Scorsese and co-wrote Scorsese’s documentary “My Voyage to Italy.” Scorsese’s latest film “The Irishman” is now set as the opening night film of NYFF 2019.

Jones joined Film at Lincoln Center in 1998, first as an executive director of programming. In 2002, he joined the selection committee of NYFF and served in that role until 2009, until finally being appointed the festival’s director in 2012. He’s also been a contributor to Film Comment magazine and was named Editor-At-Large of the publication. Between 2009 and 2012, he was the executive director of the World Cinema Project.

News of Jones’s departure was first reported by Variety.

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