Monika Wagenberg has been named the new director of the Cartagena Film Festival (FICCI) which will next take place in Cartagena, Colombia, Feb 24 to March 3, 2011.

Wagenberg is co-founder and co-director of Cinema Tropical, a non-profit based in New York City which promotes, programmes and distributes Latin American cinema in the US. She has worked with several film festivals over the years including the New York Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, the New York International Latino Film Festival and most recently as senior IberoAmerican programmers at the Miami International Film Festival, as festival director at the Latin Wave Festival in Houston and the Latin American delegate for the Zurich Film Festival.

She began her association with FICCI two years ago and will assume the directorship for the 51st edition in 2011. Wagenberg lives in the US but was born in Colombia.

“The forthcoming decade will be a particularly exciting time in the long and rich history of the festival, and I feel honored to be taking this position at such a critical moment,” said Wagenberg. “I am very inspired to introduce initiatives which will demonstrate our passionate commitment to support, contribute to, and celebrate the current boom in Colombian cinema.”

“Our challenge is to ensure that all the best Colombian films begin their festival circuit in Cartagena,” she continued. “FICCI must become more than just a local showcase for Colombian cinema – it  should be our window to the international market. My hope is that the festival becomes the international launching platform that our flourishing industry needs right now.”