The board of the Palm Springs International Film Festival hasnamed former Seattle InternationalFilm Festival mainstays Darryl Macdonald and Carl Spence as executive directorand director of programming respectively.

The appointees arrive withthe full endorsement of the festival board after a global search for a management team to raise the profile of both the January international featurefestival and the shorts event in late September.

Macdonald is a former artistic director at Palm Springs andfounder and longtime director at Seattle, while Spence served as director ofprogramming at the San Francisco International Film Festival and was associatedirector at Seattle.

Board Chairman Kevin McGuire said the experience shared by Macdonaldand Spence as well as their strong industry and media ties were key factors inthe decision.

"With these two appointments, Palm Springs is gaining a managementteam with both the knowledge and clout to raise our festivals to new heightsamong the international pantheon of celebrated film events," McGuire said in astatement.

"Palm Springs will benefit greatly from the new energy andexpertise these well-established festival organisers bring to our efforts."

"Palm Springs holds the distinction of being both a top-notchresort festival and an event that is integral to the international filmcommunity, serving as a premiere showcase for the best in worldwide cinema at acrucial period in the annual festival calendar," Macdonald said.

"I'm also eager to work in tandem with Carl Spence again, whoshowcased distinction and talent in his work at the Seattle and San Franciscofestivals."

"I'm looking forward to bringing a new perspective and my passionfor film to the festivals," Spence added.

"It is my hope that Darryl and I can further establish thefestivals on the world stage."

They will be joined by recent managing director appointee RheaLewis-Woodson, the longtime managing director of the Santa Barbara FilmFestival. Both Lewis-Woodson and Spence will report directly to Macdonald.

Their first task will be to oversee the imminent Palm SpringsInternational Festival of Short Films, which runs from Sept 16-22, 2003. Thatwill be followed by the Palm Springs International Film Festival from Jan 8-192004.

Both events areaccredited by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science and winners ofthe juried competitions are automatically considered for selection in theinternational and short film categories.