The appointment of French film critic Edouard Waintrop as programmer for the next edition of FIFF (March 1-8, 2008) - which is dedicated to films from the South - was announced during this week's Locarno Film Festival.
Waintrop, whose interests include the new Argentine cinema, classic Mexican cinema and Japanese thrillers, will officially take up his post at the beginning of September.
The interim solution of Waintrop for the 2008 edition only comes after the FIFF festival organisation realised at the end of June that there were not any suitable applications for the successor to the festival's previous artistic director Martial Knaebel, who stepped down after the last festival in March.
Speaking to the Freiburger Nachrichten, FIFF's press officer Joana Borrego said that 'Waintrop is the ideal solution for us. He is very motivated and will bring fresh air into the festival with his open personality.'
According to Borrego, the festival board will meet in the autumn to discuss whether Waintrop will be offered the chance to continue as artistic director after the 2008 edition of the festival.
The uncertainty of FIFF's future had been one of the reasons why the financial support from the Federal Office for Culture was reduced last week from $202,243 (CHF 240,000) to $84,275 (CHF 100,000) and restricted to the 2008 edition only.
Meanwhile, the Diagonale's artistic director Birgit Flos has indicated that she will not applying for an extension to her contract after the next edition which is being held from April 1-6, 2008.
Flos had originally been appointed to the post of director in April 2004 and had her term of office extended to 2008 in December 2006.
While the contract of the artistic director runs for three years only, the position of the festival's managing director Oliver Testor is for an indefinite period and would mean that he can oversee the handover between artistic directors.