The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS) has appointed Roger Garcia as executive director, effective from the end of September.

He will oversee the HKIFFS’ three flagship events – the Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF), Asian Film Awards (AFA) and the Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF). He replaces current executive director Soowei Shaw who took the helm of the festival in 2008 and is returning to her native Singapore.

Born in Hong Kong, Garcia has more than 30 years experience in the arts, cultural and film industries. Among his many roles he has served as a programming consultant, curator and juror for many international film festivals, worked with various Hong Kong government departments to develop the arts and cultural sector, and is also a respected film critic, writer and educator.

As producer, he has worked on studio pictures such as Columbia TriStar’s The Big Hit and indie films including Raymond Red’s Manila Skies.

He was also the first director of the Filmmakers’ Development Lab (FDL) for the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) from 2005-2008. Garcia was also director of the HKIFF soon after it began in the late 1970s.

“My film career basically began with the HKIFF,” Garcia said. “It was the first international film festival in Asia and over the years its programmes of discovery and revelation have had much to do with the acceptance of Asian and Hong Kong cinema around the world. I have much affection and personal connection to the festival and it’s an honour to come on board again, and help to steer it to new horizons.”