Following the departure of Denis Pregnolato earlier this year, film-maker Mitch Levine has been named executive director and CEO of the Palm Springs International Film Festivals (PSIFF) and takes up his post this week in advance of the Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films which takes place Aug 6-12 in the California desert resort.

In his new role, Levine will oversee the institutional and creative development of the PSIFF organisation as well as guiding the selection and scheduling of films and programmes for both festivals - the Nortel Networks Palm Springs International Film Festival (which takes place next year Jan 9-20) and the short film festival - as well as for additional year-round programming.

Levine was the first American Express/James Cameron Fellow in Directing at the American Film Institute, where he directed several short films including Colette, Stale Identity and Shadows. He most recently has been producing and hosting AFI's monthly series Cinema's Legacy: How Great Filmmakers Inspire Great Filmmakers held in Los Angeles. He has also been serving as production director for the Los Angeles Film Festival and the AFI International Film Festival.