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SEATTLE – August 2, 2017 – Beth Barrett, former Director of Programming, has been named SIFF’s new Artistic Director. With her advancement, Barrett becomes SIFF’s first female Artistic Director, one of only a select few women in the United States holding this position for a major film festival. Barrett assumed the mantle of Interim Artistic Director last October, leading the organization though a very successful 43rd Seattle International Film Festival.
Barrett began her career at SIFF in 2003, in the Publications department as a volunteer Copy Editor. By 2006 she had worked her way up to Programming Manager, eventually moving into the role of Director of Programming in 2011.
Since then she has been responsible for managing all aspects of film programming, from overseeing the staff of film programmers, to securing films and guests for the Festival. Barrett has also been instrumental in the programming and management of SIFF Cinema and SIFF's other year-round programs. An aficionado of short films, she helped secure SIFF's status as an Academy Award® qualifying festival in 2008.
"Beth has played a key role in SIFF’s growth for over a decade. Along with her artistic vision she brings a ton of passion and energy," said Rich Fassio, SIFF Board President. “This is an exciting time for our organization; SIFF is experiencing consistent upward growth and we are about to conclude another record year. The Board looks forward to supporting Beth as she continues SIFF’s mission to bring the best of the world of cinema to Puget Sound and beyond.”
"Beth is, without a doubt, the right person to lead SIFF's artistic programming into the future. She has a deep knowledge of and commitment to film and our community that is expressed beautifully through her artistic choices. SIFF is very lucky to have her on our team," said Sarah Wilke, SIFF’s Executive Director.
Reflecting on her years at SIFF, Beth said, "Having been part of SIFF for the last 15 years, during times of growth and change, I am constantly amazed at the staff, board, and members’ commitment to the work we do and the community we have built. I am honored and excited to shepherd the organization into the next chapter."