Frances Wallace named CEO of Sydney Film Festival

Frances Wallace.

Sydney Film Festival (SFF) has appointed Frances Wallace as CEO, with the arts professional returning to Australia after 20 years abroad to take up the position.

Wallace brings a broad range of festival and cultural experience to the SFF, having completed stints in Melbourne, New York, and San Francisco, where she spent six years as executive director of the Frameline film festival.

She takes the reins from Nashen Moodley, who has occupied the role in an interim capacity since the departure of Leigh Small in May.

Wallace said she was “beyond thrilled” to co-lead the event alongside Moodley, who is the festival director.

“My 20 plus years of experience in the US has continued to expand my vibrant, builder perspective and I’m excited to bring this energy home and collaborate with the SFF team,” she said.

“I strongly believe in the power of film festivals, especially in these challenging times, to build communities and ignite discussions that broaden the audience’s perspective. It is certainly my honour to be named to this post, especially on the advent of SFF’s 70th edition.”

SFF chair Deanne Weir said Wallace presented the board with an exciting and energetic vision of future opportunities for the organisation.

“The combination of Frances, plus our internationally-admired festival director Nashen Moodley, leading a passionate and dedicated SFF team, will allow us to deliver a compelling 70th Festival in 2023 and build an exciting future in the years ahead.”

In welcoming Wallace to the team, Moodley said Wallace’s “established leadership qualities, experience, and innovative ideas” made her the ideal CEO.

“All of the SFF team warmly welcomes Frances, and so looks forward to working with her,” he said.

Wallace will commence her role on Tuesday, October 4.