Portuguese producer Joana Vicente was announced as the new executive director of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and is jointly responsible for the organization alongside artistic director Cameron Bailey.
“The selection committee was deeply impressed by Joana Vicente’s past as a producer, advocate for independent filmmakers and her success in fundraising and partnerships, her extensive knowledge of the changing global film landscape solidified the decision,” he said, in a statement, the festival’s board of directors.
Since December 2009, Joana Vicente has been the executive director of the Independent Filmmaker Project, the oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers in the United States, according to the TIFF statement.
“I’ve always looked at TIFF as a prominent international platform for global filmmaking, with a local and global impact,” she said, quoting the festival, Joana Vicente, before adding that Carmon Bailey’s artistic vision is “inspiring.”
The TIFF organization notes that Joana Vicente “is a leading figure in the New York film industry, having produced more than 40 films and founded three companies, including the first digital producer in the United States and the first studio for distribution and production on the rise definition of the country “.
Joana Vicente was named by Variety as one of the 60 most influential people in New York and has received the “Made in New York” award, which distinguishes figures who have contributed significantly to the growth of the city’s media and entertainment industries.
Joana Vicente was born in Macao, studied Philosophy in Lisbon, was assistant to Maria de Lurdes Pintassilgo in the European Parliament and worked at the United Nations until she decided to produce films in the United States in partnership with her husband, producer Jason Kliot.
Even before crossing the Atlantic, Joana Vicente was an assistant producer of António-Pedro Vasconcelos and Paulo Branco and had a brief participation as an actress in a film by Alain Tanner.
In New York, where he lived for almost 30 years, he founded with Jason Kliot Open City Films and HDnet Films, companies with which he signed about forty independent film productions for filmmakers such as Brian de Palma, Alex Gibney, Steven Soderbergh, Hal Hartley , Todd Solondz and Jim Jarmuch.
Joana Vicente explained in 2008 that the production she does “is very creative”, because the involvement in a project almost always begins in the development of the script, from an idea or a book.
“I really enjoy production, but the part that I lacked was this creative part. Especially when I work with filmmakers who do not have much experience, it gives me great pleasure to try to give you all the possible instruments to achieve the best vision them, “said Joana Vicente.
The appointment of TIFF takes effect on November 1, close to two months after the festival this year, which will feature the film “Diamantino” by Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt in two sections.