Seasoned Nonprofit Director Positioned to Continue to Expand the Organization’s Mission

NEW ORLEANS, La. (March 3, 2017)—The New Orleans Film Society has announced that seasoned non-profit leader Fallon Young has been appointed as executive director of the 27-year-old organization. Young assumed her role earlier this month and will work closely with the Board of Directors to continue to expand the mission of the NOFS by leveraging and developing relationships across the private, public and corporate sectors both within the the film industry and throughout the New Orleans community.

Young replaces Jolene Pinder, who stepped down from the role at the end of 2016 after six years at the helm of the New Orleans Film Society. “Fallon’s unwavering dedication to the arts and commitment to service truly exemplifies what our team was searching for in an executive director,” says Alex Glaser, New Orleans Film Society’s 2016-2017 Board President. “We are thrilled to have Fallon join our team and look forward to our organization’s future growth under her leadership.”

A native of Louisiana and Texas, Fallon Young joins the New Orleans Film Society after recently returning to the South from San Francisco, where she served as the interim executive director and director of communications and community engagement at SOMArts Cultural Center, a 25,000 sq. ft. cultural center that fosters access to the arts in the Bay Area and collaborates with artists and neighborhood-serving organizations to provoke just and fair inclusion, cultural respect, and civic participation. In this role, Young created the most detailed and metric-driven management and programming plan in the organization’s history, while leading a staff of 32 in supporting over 95 rental events and producing a successful season of seven large-scale exhibitions activated by 35 public education events, as well as 150 classes. In addition to her work with SOMArts, Young served on the team of stewards for Arts for a Better Bay Area (ABBA), a network to increase support for the arts, ensure access for all, and share knowledge around public policy. Young assisted ABBA in engaging more than 500 artists and arts workers and securing a $7m commitment from the City and County of San Francisco, including an ongoing increase of $1m to the Cultural Equity fund.

“New Orleans has earned an international reputation as a thriving epicenter of creativity and culture where film and the arts are part of the fabric of daily life for myself and many other New Orleanians,” says Young. “I am proud to represent this city and the film industry as Executive Director of the New Orleans Film Society and build on the organization’s legacy of nurturing the film community and convening an Academy-accredited festival where so many diverse artistic voices and creative perspectives meet.”

Young’s commitment to supporting and developing artistic communities made her an attractive fit for the executive director position. The New Orleans Film Society celebrates the transformative power of film to inspire, delight, and enrich our lives. NOFS presents year-round film programming including the annual New Orleans Film Festival, the French Film Festival and screenings and special events designed to benefit local film audiences, artists and professionals. NOFS also has a strong commitment to increasing opportunities for independent and Louisiana-based filmmakers through two highly acclaimed programs:

*The Emerging Voices Mentorship Program was founded in 2014 with a grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on the principle that to create a more diverse storytelling landscape, filmmakers of color need greater access to gatekeepers. The program places a special focus on highlighting the work of underrepresented storytellers, pairing six Louisiana-based directors of color with industry veterans for intensive one-on-one mentoring and access to industry leaders through facilitated meetings.

*The Create Louisiana Filmmakers Grant Program launched in 2015 with key partners Deep South Studios and the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. In its first year, Create Louisiana awarded one $50,000 grant to a Louisiana filmmaking team (Nailah Jefferson and Jon Wood) to make the short narrative film “Plaquemines.”

Young will nurture and expand these community initiatives while continuing to grow NOFS’ signature event, the New Orleans Film Festival (NOFF). The New Orleans Film Festival is the longest-running festival of its kind in the state of Louisiana and one of the largest film festivals in the South, with over 3,800 entries received in 2016 from 115 different countries. Of the final selections screened at the 2016 New Orleans Film Festival, 45% were from female directors and 36% are from directors of color. As a result of the festival’s growing success, NOFF has also been named an Oscar-qualifying festival in the categories of Narrative Short, Documentary Short, and Animated Short.

NOFS is also proud to announce that long-time Programming Director Clint Bowie has been promoted to the organization’s artistic director. Bowie has been instrumental in curating NOFS screenings and growing submissions for the annual Film Festival the past seven years, increasing submissions since 2010 by 421%. In addition, Bowie oversees aspects of the organization’s outreach and marketing efforts and has served admirably as the interim executive director during the search process.

John Desplas—a founding member of the NOFS—will remain as artistic director emeritus.