Eugene Hernandez named first Latino director of Sundance Film Festival
Eugene Hernandez was announced Wednesday as the Sundance Film Festival's next director and head of public programming.
- He's the first Latino director to hold the position in the film festival's 44-year history.
Why it matters: Latinos are deeply underrepresented in Hollywood, both in front of and behind the camera, according to the UCLA Hollywood Diversity report, which found only 2.7% of directors are Latino.
But, but, but: The Sundance Institute is trying to diversify indie film and, in addition to appointing Hernandez, is adding two new programs focused on developing Latino, Asian American and Pacific Islander artists.
Details: Hernandez is the current festival director of the New York Film Festival. He's slated to lead the 2024 Park City-based event.
- He's also the former cofounder and editor-in-chief of the indie-film publication Indiewire and has more than 25 years of experience in the film and media industry.
What they're saying: "Nearly 30 years ago, looking for direction and curious, I went to the Sundance Film Festival for the first time. I immediately connected with its mission, and it changed my life," Hernandez said in a statement, adding he was ready for the challenge.
- "I'm so pleased to have him serve as our new Festival Director, helping to support a new generation of artists, and taking us into the next decade of Sundance's story," Sundance Institute founder — and renowned actor — Robert Redford said in a statement.
Flashback: Tabitha Jackson stepped down as director in June. She led the festival through two virtual years during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The 2023 festival will be led by Sundance Institute CEO Joana Vicente and Kim Yutani, director of programming.
What's next: Ticket packages will be announced later this month.
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