Director of Programming - SFFILM

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Director of Programming - SFFILM



The Director of Programming is responsible for shaping, planning, and designing the programming content and components of year-round SFFILM exhibitions and festivals while ensuring that the goals of the organization are met.

Within SFFILM’s structure, this is a highly collaborative position that includes strategic and creative work with SFFILM’s Communications, Development, Operations, Education, and Artist Development departments. The Director works closely with all department heads on strategic planning and organizational leadership and reports to the Executive Director.

Current SFFILM programming includes the San Francisco International Film Festival, Doc Stories, Hong Kong Cinema, Special Presentations, Tributes, and Member Screenings. In addition, the Director of Programming works to help secure films and talent for awards and events including SFFILM Awards Night, SFFILM Honors, and the Sloan Science in Cinema Prize.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Please email resume and cover letter to to apply.


Oversee organization and curation of films for SFFILM’s year-round programs including tracking, identifying, and securing films.
Plan and conceptualize programs that speak to SFFILM’s mission to champion the world’s finest films and filmmakers through programs anchored in and inspired by the Bay Area, with an awareness of Bay Area, national, and international filmmakers and audiences.
Achieve a deep understanding of the Bay Area and its audiences, both to serve existing audiences and to explore future audiences.
Establish a presence / leadership role in the national and international film field, through ongoing engagement and relationships with international curators, film organizations, and filmmakers.
Maintain distributor, exhibitor, and other industry relations and manage negotiations with distributors, producers, filmmakers, and sales agents to secure films for exhibition.
Work with external partners to share and solicit programming ideas with the aim of developing projects/seasons/initiatives.
Serve as a key representative of SFFILM at meetings of peers and colleagues, festivals/markets, conferences, to the press and public.
Coordinate with and host guest filmmakers, writers, critics, and industry guests and lead discussions, Q+As, and events as required.
Stay abreast of current and contemporary work in film and other visual storytelling, including issues relevant to exhibition and new ideas and theories in the field through research and networking.
Ensure that programs reflect artistic inquiry, including work produced in new and emerging contexts and forms.
Manage year-round and program-specific temporary programming, print traffic, and guest office staff including performance management.
Develop and oversee management of the departmental budget, monitor expenses and revenues, keeping within budget guidelines.
Play a key role in the ongoing management of SFFILM as a member of senior leadership groups, and in the long-term development of SFFILM by participating in long-term strategy and budget meetings.
Work collaboratively with the Communications team to frame Festival and other exhibition series’ narratives, design look and feel, and sales strategies.
Experience & Skills Required

5+ years film industry/festival experience.
Demonstrated knowledge of cinema.
Strong foundation of industry relationships, including distributors, sales reps, festivals/markets, and filmmakers.
Excellent interpersonal skills with ability to make and maintain contacts among filmmakers, producers, distributors, sales agents, and publicists.
Facility for public speaking, including introducing and presenting films and filmmakers, moderating onstage question and answer sessions, participating in panel discussions, and presenting the festival and its programs to the press and the public.
Strong writing skills.
Strong management skills and experience working with and leading a team and managing a budget.
Strong organizational skills and an ability to work from a timeline and meet deadlines.
Proficiency with FileMaker Pro, MS Word, and Excel.
Ability to prioritize and delegate in high stress situations.