Film Festival Alliance

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Barbara Twist named Executive Director of Film Festival Alliance

The Film Festival Alliance is pleased to announce the hiring of Barbara Twist as the organization’s new part-time executive director, effective May 1, 2022. Barbara has served FFA in multiple roles since 2020, most recently as interim executive director.

“After an extensive international search, we are proud to permanently appoint Barbara to spearhead FFA’s efforts. Her experience within the organization is invaluable and her passion for community, education, and advocacy through film exhibition is unmatched,” says Alyx Picard, FFA board president. “We look forward to our continued work supporting all film festival organizations and staff as we navigate recent shifts in the film industry, champion inclusive environments for storytelling, and lead the charge on equitable and fair practices for festival workers, filmmakers, and film organizations alike.”

An L.A.-based filmmaker and exhibition consultant, Barbara has been involved in the independent exhibition sector for over a decade. She previously worked with Art House Convergence as Managing Director until 2017, and in recent years has consulted for organizations including Europa Cinemas, Europa International, and IndieCollect. Since 2020, Barbara has worked with the Vidiots Foundation, a non-profit Los Angeles-based movie theater + video store, and will continue to serve as their part-time Director of Partnerships. Barbara holds an MFA in Creative Producing from Columbia University and has produced several award-winning short films. She is a member of the Producers Guild of America.

“My first festival experience, at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, introduced me to that indescribable ‘festival feeling’ and the expansive power of community-based exhibition,” says Barbara Twist, FFA Executive Director. “At FFA, festivals are our focus, yet we acknowledge we are part of a larger film ecosystem that faces many critical challenges. I have great hope for our future because I believe in the passion and commitment of my colleagues and our collective belief in an abundance model made of shared resources, advice, and comradery. I see this new role as an incredible opportunity to support and grow the exhibition community about whom I am so very passionate.”

Twist will build on the strong foundation laid by her predecessor, Lela Meadow-Conner, who departed in February to head mama.film, after shepherding the organization successfully through the pandemic by more than doubling its budget and introducing innovative programs over the last five years, including FilmEx. In the first year of her tenure, along with her staff and board, Twist will focus FFA on addressing pressing issues of accessibility, fair labor practices, racial inequity within the festival community, and futureproofing festivals’ financial health amid inflation.