[Sean Farnel, right, with Hot Docs' Executive Director Chris McDonald and filmmaker Morgan Spurlock at Opening Night of Hot Docs 2011. Photo from the Hot Docs website by Joseph Michael.]
In what accounts for major news around here, Sean Farnel announced last night, via his blog, that he was stepping down from his role as Hot Docs' Director of Programming. After six years at Hot Docs, which followed a six year run programming documentaries at the Toronto International Film Festival, Farnel said that it was time to move on:
"Five years is usually enough to get the job done (give or take a bonus year). As at tiff, I depart with pride, having significantly advanced the programmes on which I worked. It seems unlikely that we could’ve put together a better festival then we did with this past Hot Docs...
Few, if any, international film festivals have enjoyed more growth then Hot Docs since 2005. Having just announced another record event, with over 150,000 admissions and a 24 per cent increase in earned revenues, the Festival has more then tripled its audience over the past six years. With that, Hot Docs is now a close second to IDFA as the world’s largest documentary film festival. The Festival has become one of Toronto’s most significant and beloved cultural events."
Although Farnel is departing, he is not exiting the scene. This week he'll serve as a juror at the Silverdocs Film Festival (which kicks off tonight).