NEW ORLEANS, La.—After six years of leading the New Orleans Film Society (NOFS), Executive Director Jolene Pinder will step down at the end of January 2017. Pinder will continue to lead the organization through the 27th edition of the New Orleans Film Festival, held October 12-20, 2016. During her tenure as Executive Director, Pinder led the organization during the greatest period of growth in its 27-year history, raising the New Orleans Film Festival’s international profile, tripling event attendance, and quadrupling the organization’s budget. Jolene will be devoting her energies to new and exciting opportunities, both personal and professional.

“The last six years have been thrilling and deeply gratifying as NOFS’ Executive Director. The organization and the festival have grown significantly, and I feel the time has come for me to apply the lessons and skills this experience has imparted towards the next new endeavor,” Said Jolene Pinder. “I could not be more proud of what we’ve accomplished together—our phenomenal staff, engaged board and vibrant production community—to raise New Orleans’ profile as a premier destination for film exhibition and production. I’m excited about future pursuits and look forward to welcoming my successor and seeing the organization continue to thrive!” Jolene Pinder joined the New Orleans Film Society in January 2011.

Prior to assuming the Executive Director position at NOFS, Jolene worked at Arts Engine in New York as a documentary film producer and director of the Media That Matters Film Festival. During her time directing and producing documentary films, her own work was screened nationally and internationally at such places as MoMA, Slamdance and Frameline. As the Executive Director, Pinder refocused the identity of the New Orleans Film Society’s signature program, the New Orleans Film Festival, to spotlight independent filmmakers from around the world, increasing the number of artists in attendance from 75 in 2011 to nearly 400 in 2015. Under Jolene’s strategic guidance, NOFS launched key initiatives to diversify the storytelling landscape and support Southern filmmakers of all ages, including the Pitch Perfect competition, the Emerging Voices mentorship program for filmmakers of color in the state, the Cinema Classroom education program, and the Create Louisiana Filmmakers Grant. She raised the visibility of the New Orleans Film Festival and the region’s thriving film industry locally, regionally, and nationally, notably developing a New Orleans presence at the Sundance Film Festival.

“Jolene’s vision and hard work has resulted in a quadrupling of our operating budget and an increase of of over 400% in annual film submissions to our organization, as well as becoming an Oscar-qualifying festival. Her service to our organization will be sincerely missed. At the same time that we celebrate her tenure and accomplishments, we look forward to hiring a new executive director to build upon our recent successes,” said NOFS board president Alex Glaser.

The NOFS board will undertake a national search for a new executive director. A detailed job description will be posted on September 21.