Brian Owens has been hired as artistic director of the Nashville Film Festival, which is gearing up for its 40th anniversary celebrations from April 16-23, 2009.

Owens previously served as artistic director of the Indianapolis International Film Festival, which he founded in 2003.

During his tenure he expanded the festival's programming to more than 130 films spread over 11 days and presided over an increase in attendance from 2,400 in 2003 to more than 9,000.

'The movie industry is changing around us and it is becoming more difficult to see the independently minded, challenging films that used to come to our arthouse theatres,' Owens said.

'A film festival is more important than ever for those of us who seek to expand our horizons, and I hope to play a vital part in bringing some of the best cinema the world has to offer to Nashville.'