Helen Loveridge, who has served as executive director of theSeattle International Film Festival Group (SIFF) since 2003, has resigned her postto return home to England.

Loveridge recently guided a successful 31st annual festivalthrough to its conclusion on Jun 12.

Former board president and Platinum Lifetime member Deborah Personhas been named interim director of SIFF until a replacement is found, and willplay a key part in the search.

A former SIFF staff member and current member of the board emeritusfor SIFF, Person will be responsible for the day-to-day managementresponsibilities of SIFF, including fundraising, community relations, staff andprogramme oversight.

"While we were surprised and saddened to hear of herdecision, we couldn't be happier with the leadership, dedication andcreativity Helen has shown with our beloved festival," SIFF boardpresident Chris Gorley said.

"Helen andall of the SIFF staff have done a phenomenal job in generating excitement andensuring the highest quality programming, resulting in unprecedented attendanceat the festival. We hope to find ways that Helen may continue to be connectedto the SIFF organisation."