Executive director Moore has decided not to renew his contract after four years with the event.

Richard Moore, executive director of the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF), has announced he will not be renewing his contract after this year’s event, which runs July 22 and August 8.

Moorehas overseen programming and operational matters for the festival since arriving as general manager four years ago. It not clear what he plans to do next or if he has a role to go to.

The festival now plans to appoint a chief executive and festival director and will begin the search in April.

Claire Dobbin, the chair of MIFF, told ScreenDaily: “The festival is very successful and has outgrown its existing structure. There is a huge amount of company business and the director needs to be free to run the program, which is more than just films but all the other events too.”

In a statement, Moore said: “The last four years have been an incredibly rewarding time at MIFF culminating in last year’s very exciting festival. He is currently overseas and not available to discuss any future plans.

Last year, Moore was caught up in the storm that surrounded the festival’s decision to programme Jeff Daniels’ documentary 10 Conditions Of Love and invite its subject, the controversial Uyghur leader Rebiya Kadeer to the festival.

Accountancy firm KPMG is advising on the festivals new organisational structure.

Dobbin hopes the two new festival leaders will be appointed before this year’s MIFF so they can “observe from the sidelines”. They will be expected to take the reins soon after for the 60th anniversary festival in 2011.

MIFF is the oldest and largest film festival in Australia: admissions reached 182,000 last year. Its sidebars include a Premiere Fund for investing in feature-length productions and the 37ºSouth Market, one of two co-financing events in Australia.

Previous MIFF directors include James Hewison, now theatrical distribution manager at Madman Entertainment, Sandra Sdraulig, chief executive of government agency Film Victoria and Tait Brady who is developing documentaries under The Acme Film Company banner and consulting.