Atlanta Film Festival has new director, moves to GSU

Christopher Escobar takes over as the festival's executive director


After a year and a half, the Atlanta Film Festival has finally named Christopher Escobar as its new executive director. In June 2010, ATLFF let go then-executive director Gabe Wardell (who now writes for CL, among other activities, including co-producing the 48 Hour Film Project) and program director Dan Krovich because of "financial motivations," chairman of the board Walker Anderson said at the time. Tom Karsch, a former executive vice president of Turner Classic Movies and Turner South and ATLFF board member took over the role as interim director while the organization tried to fill the vacant position - a search Karsch then said he estimated would take about three to six months.

But the months ticked by and no permanent executive director was named. Miami International Film Festival Managing Director Carol Ann Lafferty was recruited and served as another interim director during the 2011 festival. Now, as prep for the 2012 fest (taking place March 23-April 1) is reaching a fever pitch, Escobar has been officially tapped (he'd basically been doing the job with out the title since last summer) to take the reigns. Escobar has been a member of the board of directors and technical advisor at Georgia State Television. Speaking of Georgia State, the festival has left its longtime space at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center and moved to GSU Jan. 3 as part of a new partnership with the University's Department of Communication.