Jody Kielbasa has been named as the new director of the Virginia Film Festival.

Kielbasa took the post as of May 11, and he succeeds Richard Herskowitz, who stepped down in November as 15 years of artistic director of the festival.

The four-day autumn festival, run by the University of Virginia’s College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, blends entertainment and education. This year’s event, with a theme of Funny Business, will take place Nov 5-8 in charlottesville, Virginia.

Kielbasa for the last decade served as the founding executive director of the Sarasota Film Festival in Florida. He has also worked in theatre and co-produced William H Macy’s The Deal.

“I am truly excited about the opportunity that lies ahead with the Virginia Film Festival and believe that the University of Virginia provides a unique platform for discussion and dialogue about film while offering tremendous resources through the faculty, students and community to further that dialogue,” Kielbasa said. “I look forward to moving to Charlottesville with my family and becoming a part of this special community.”