The San Sebastian Film Festival has announced that its director Mikel Olaciregui will be replaced by Jose Luis Rebordinos from January 1, 2011, following the next edition of the event in September.

The surprising announcement was made late Friday night after a lengthy meeting of the board of directors at the Victoria Eugenia Theatre in San Sebastian.

“It has been unanimously decided after a long deliberation that the position of director of the festival will be occupied by José Luis Rebordinos [already a member of the board of directors] who from now on will be acting as deputy director,” said the festival press office.

Olaciregui had expressed to the institutions who support the festival during the last few months his wish to end his period as the head of the festival due to personal reasons after 10 years in the role.

Olaciregui has overseen a very successful period in the festival’s history attracting several A-list stars each year, including Quentin Tarantino and Brad Pitt last year, and a wide range of films to the festival line-up, including exciting new discoveries in its Films In Progress section for Latin American projects.

The festival organisers are currently hard at work planning this year’s event, which will include 3D screenings, panel discussions and masterclasses for film students from all over the world, Olaciregui confirmed to ScreenDaily.

Incoming director Rebordinos also works as the festival director of the San Sebastian Human Rights Festival and has written several books on famous film-makers.