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Rutger Wolfson appointed as new director of Rotterdam

Rutger Wolfson director for the 2008 edition of the International Film Festival Rotterdam

The Board of the International Film Festival Rotterdam has appointed Rutger Wolfson as director to arrange the organisation and artistic substance for the 2008 festival edition. He will assume this function part time and stay on in his present function as director of De Vleeshal, a centre for contemporary art in Middelburg, The Netherlands. The festival board has also appointed Stef Fleischeuer for the same period and also part time as interim business director.

The appointment of Rutger Wolfson follows the departure on 1 September 2007 of Sandra den Hamer to the Filmmuseum in Amsterdam. After the announcement of her departure in late April this year, the festival board has put together a thorough profile of the management the festival needs in the years to come. The festival staff, organisations, government and individuals closely connected to the festival have also been consulted.

As usual in this period, the festival staff, under the leadership of Sandra den Hamer, has started work on preparing the coming edition of the festival. The same applies to the necessary steps to prepare activities for the CineMart and the Hubert Bals Fund.

Starting today, Wolfson and Fleischeuer will take over responsibility for the festival organisation. They will also study urgent dossiers such as grant applications within the framework of the approaching Culture White Paper and the consultation already under way with the City of Rotterdam concerning new accommodation for the festival and the Festival office.

Rutger Wolfson will concentrate on general leadership and coordinating artistic affairs within the festival while Stef Fleischeuer will focus on the business aspects of the festival. In the coming weeks, the management, board and festival staff will hammer out a further division of tasks.

The board has chosen to make an appointment up to and including the coming edition of the festival in order to ensure continuity in the festival organisation.

Rutger Wolfson (37) studied Art and Culture at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. From 1996 to 1999 he was curator of Witte de With, centre for contemporary art in Rotterdam and compiled exhibitions and (co-)produced music, theatre, dance projects. Since 2000, Wolfson has been director of the Stichting Beeldende Kunst Middelburg (De Vleeshal). He has compiled several renowned exhibitions about the boundaries of the visual arts and other art forms. Further he has been a member of advisory commissions for the Mondrian Foundation, the Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture and for the Dutch Film Fund. Wolfson compiled and introduced the anthologies ‘Kunst in crisis’ (Art in Crisis, 2003) and ‘Nieuwe symbolen voor Nederland’ (New Symbols for the Netherlands, 2005). In August of this year, Wolfson published the essay ‘Het museum als plek voor ideeën’ (The Museum as Space for Ideas). From 2004 until his appointment as director, he was a member of the board of the International Film Festival Rotterdam.

Stef Fleischeuer (53) studied Sociology of Building and Living at the University of Utrecht. From 1987 on, he held project-management and management functions in the field of urban renewal, economic and culture in Utrecht, Leiden, Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam. From 2000 until 2006 he was director of Development of the OntwikkelingsBedrijf Rotterdam (OBR). Since 2007 he has been director of Plan F in Rotterdam, a bureau for organisational advice and project management focusing on Space, Real Estate and Economics, but also that land and Art and Culture. From 2003 to 2006, Fleischeuer was a member of the Advisory Council of the Tiger Business Lounge, the club of business friends of the International Film Festival Rotterdam. He is on the board of Witte de With, centre for contemporary art in Rotterdam and a member of A’R’dam, which brings together directors and those involved in the arts sector in Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

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