Jane Schoettle, the founding director of Sprockets International Film Festival for Children, is stepping down from her position after 10 years to expand her programming activities at the Toronto International Film Festival.

TIFFG will soon post an international talent search for Schoettle's replacement. A candidate is expected to be announced in October or November.

TIFFG director and CEO Piers Handling and TIFF co-director Noah Cowan lavished praise on Schoettle, crediting her with some of the more astute programming choices of recent festivals, including Jason Reitman's Thank You For Smoking and Gavin Hood's Tsotsi - both directors are back at the festival this year with Juno and Rendition respectively. She picked the last three Audience Prize winers at TIFF: Hotel Rwanda, Tsotsi and Bella.

In 1997, when Schoettle first brought Sprockets into the TIFF fold, it was a four-day event with an attendance of 2300. It is now a ten-day event drawing more than times that number.

Schoettle also the Special Delivery and Pocket Fund programmes, which benefit thousands of young people in Toronto's at-risk communities, and helped form the teacher-assistance programme Reel Learning and Reel Comfort, which takes films into acute care mental facilities.

She will continue her role as chief buyer TIFFG's John VanDuzer Children's Film Collection.