Al Cossar. 

Al Cossar has been named the new artistic director of the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF), succeeding Michelle Carey.

Cossar has been involved with MIFF in various roles for nearly a decade, and will step up into his new position in October. He has been acting interim artistic director of this year’s festival since Carey took maternity leave in October 2017.

“I’ve experienced the festival as a square-eyed fan and film obsessive, as a volunteer, as its programmer, and this year as its associate artistic director,” Cossar says.

“I am both thrilled and honoured to take up this new role as artistic director in an organisation that I love.”

Carey, who has been artistic director for eight years, announced she would be departing MIFF in April to relocate to Germany.

Of his outgoing colleague, Cossar says: “I wish to recognise the extraordinary direction and dedication of Michelle Carey, who has driven the festival to new audiences, new initiatives, and across the board to new heights,” he states.

“Hers is a legacy that leaves MIFF with an incredible reAll Postsputation; full of possibility.”

MIFF board chair Claire Dobbin says: “Both MIFF and Victorian audiences have benefitted from the extraordinary vision of Michelle Carey. Over the past eight years, the festivals that she curated have confirmed her status as a truly international cinephile, able to connect with audiences of all ages, tastes and sensibilities. She brought unseen and unforgettable worlds to us all and we will miss her.”

“Having known and admired him as the festival’s Programmer and more recently as our interim artistic Director, I’m delighted that Al Cossar is our next artistic director.

“Al’s encyclopaedic knowledge of cinema, deep understanding of festivals, his curatorial rigour and vision for the future of MIFF made him an irresistible choice.”

Melbourne International Film Festival runs August 2-19, with the full program to be announced July 10.

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