Film Independent top brass announced on Thursday (10) a restructuring of the programming team as Los Angeles Film Festival artistic director David Ansen steps down by mutual agreement and the role of Elvis Mitchell is expanded.

Mitchell now assumes the newly created year-round position of Film Independent curator, whereby all Film Independent’s exhibition programmes – the Los Angeles Film Festival, Film Independent at LACMA, and all other programming initiatives – will fall under his remit.

“I’m grateful to David for bringing his critical eye and international taste,” said Los Angeles Film Festival director Stephanie Allain. “Unifying the festival and our year-round programming under Elvis’ remarkable vision will facilitate Film Independent’s mission to support a community of diverse, innovative and unique-minded artists.”

“These five years as artistic director of the Los Angeles Film Festival have given me great joy, and I’m very proud of the way the festival has grown since our nmove downtown,” said Ansen, the former film critic who served there from 1977-2008.

“Working alongside my sterling programming team, led by the incomparable Doug Jones and Maggie Mackay, and getting the chance to bring so many terrific movies and filmmakers to the Los Angeles audience has made this a dream job.  

“Now it’s time to turn over the reins to make way for a new vision of the festival’s future, and I look forward to getting back to writing and pursuing new prospects. I want to thank Film Independent and its great team for giving me this wonderful experience.”

“I’ve been cheered by the reaction to what I’ve done with Film Independent at LACMA, and the organisational support I’ve received in pursuing it, “ said Mitchell.

“I’m honoured to be asked by Stephanie Allain – whom I’ve long admired – to add to the scope of my programming purview at Film Independent. I salute David Ansen for his work with the festival, and look forward to continuing to follow his example.”