Former Sundance exec to resign from Jerusalem Cinematheque, the Israeli Film Archive and the Jerusalem Film Festival.
Less than a year after taking over the coveted triple job of heading the Jerusalem Cinematheque, the Israeli Film Archive and the Jerusalem Film Festival, Alesia Weston has decided to quit.
The former Sundance Institute executive tended her resignation from all the three functions but will stay on for another three months as artistic director of the Cinematheque and the festival and will be in charge of its 30th edition which will take place July 4-13.
Explaining her decision, Weston said: “Considering the lack of resources we’re facing, this is a serious challenge but we hope the festival will have a lot to offer in every respect.”
One of her main objectives for this year’s event is to start solving problematic relations between the festival and local industry.
Structured as one unit by founder Lia van Leer, the Jerusalem Cinematheque, its archive and the festival hit on hard times when van Leer stepped down as chief executive officer five years ago, to retain only her honorary title of president.
Weston was greeted as a potential saviour and there was hope she could pull the troubled institution out of a series of mishaps, misunderstandings and misfortunes, including one general strike, a series of clashes between the Ostrovsky Foundation and the Jerusalem Foundation, two of the institution’s main financial backers, and the departures of one artistic director, Ilan de Vries, and one administrator, Igal Hayo.
But after less than a year handling the triple-headed role, she discovered the debts incurred by the Cinematheque before her arrival were more than twice the size she had previously known.
Weston added: “Under the circumstances, our work couldn’t possibly reflect our vision. I am leaving because I believe what the place needs urgently now is far beyond the agenda I was entrusted.”
CFO and deputy director Orly Garti-Seroussi will be leaving with her.
After Weston’s resignation, the board of directors chose a chief operating officer to handling all administrative duties. The newly appointed Nir Becher is a former chief editor of weekend supplements, first for leading tabloid Yedioth Achronoth, then for morning daily Haaretz and finally for a weekend TV show.