HIFF announces leadership changes

Dec. 19, 2013 | 0 Comments
Actor Richard Chamberlain, left, Hawaii International Film Festival Executive Director Chuck Boller and Vilcek Foundation Executive Director Rick Kinsel at the Eurocinema 2012 Awards Gala. (Star-Advertiser file)

Actor Richard Chamberlain, left, Hawaii International Film Festival Executive Director Chuck Boller and Vilcek Foundation Executive Director Rick Kinsel at the Eurocinema 2012 Awards Gala. (Star-Advertiser File)

BY STEVEN MARK / smark@staradvertiser.com

Chuck Boller is stepping down as executive director of the Hawaii International Film Festival to take an emeritus position with the organization. Deputy Director Robert Lambeth will replace Boller as of Jan. 1, HIFF said in a statement Thursday, Dec. 19.

Boller has worked for HIFF for 23 of the event’s 33 years, the last 13 as executive director. A statement from HIFF said that Boller, in his new role, will focus on fundraising and the establishment of a HIFF foundation.

“I have enjoyed it immensely and am proud of where HIFF is today and of what HIFF has become,” Boller said in the statement. “It is incredibly rewarding to see your dreams come true.”

Boller says the addition of HIFF’s Creative Lab — a series of seminars and presentations in which local filmmakers and fans can meet with industry professionals — calls for “new and alternative” funding sources. “I look forward to taking on new projects for HIFF that I did not have the opportunity to pursue previously,” he said.

Boller has helped HIFF become a major showcase for Asian films, developing close relationships with the Chinese film industry. Every year, many Asian films get their international debut at HIFF.

Lambeth worked for HIFF from 1996 to 2000 but then left for a decade to work in the finance industry. He returned in 2011 as HIFF’s first-ever deputy director, spearheading a survey of festival goers aimed at improving the festival experience.

“It is an honor for me to be part of such an extraordinary organization and I am very grateful for the overwhelming support I’ve received from the HIFF Board of Directors and from previous executive directors Chuck Boller and Jeannette Paulson,” he said in the HIFF statement. “Thanks to their great leadership, for over 33 years HIFF has made a vital and tangible difference to the lives of so many in our Hawaii ohana. I look forward to building on that worthy legacy and I’m truly excited about HIFF’s future potential.”

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