Rob Davis assumes RiverRun reins

The RiverRun International Film Festival has announced the hiring of Rob Davis as its executive director, succeeding Andrew Rodgers who departed earlier this year to become executive director of the Denver Film Society.

The news was also confirmed on the official RiverRun website.

For the past five years, Davis has been the chief development officer for American Public Media’s Classical South Florida (CSF) network of public radio stations. He will officially take on his new position as RiverRun executive director effective Aug. 29.

In an official statement, Davis said:

“The RiverRun International Film Festival has an outstanding reputation among the film community and as a significant cultural event in the South. I look forward to joining the RiverRun team and working with staff, board members, volunteers, donors, and the community to build upon the festival’s exemplary success and advance its mission.”

Davis was selected from 53 candidates following a national executive search supervised by Arts Consulting Group. “The search committee is very pleased with the outcome of our search,” said RiverRun board chair Barry Maine in an official statement. “Rob Davis is an experienced leader who we believe will grow RiverRun into the festival we all want it to be.”

When Rodgers stepped down as executive director earlier this year, the question of how a search would be conducted to find his successor was on many minds, but the 2016 festival was looming and the programming process already well underway. As River- Run program manager Mary Dossinger explained just prior to this year’s festival: “There will be a time to get to that later. Right now, it’s about the filmmakers and the films.”

Davis previously served at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) in several capacities for over a decade, including associate programmer and a brief stint as interim executive director. He also developed and taught motion-picture industry studies at the graduate and under-graduate levels for over 10 years in his capacity as the director of the DeSantis Center for Motion Picture Industry Studies at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). He also earned an MBA from Vanderbilt University, where his studies focused on marketing for nonprofit organizations.

Davis has also developed and taught an international film course in Spain, and published many articles and book chapters on various film topics. He’s been a panelist and speaker at film conferences here in the United States and abroad, including the Alfred Hitchcock Centennial Conference at New York University (NYU) and the University of London’s American Cinema and Everyday Life Conference.

“Rob is a walking encyclopedia of film – not just dates and events, but the subculture at the time the events took place, and how those films and celebrities became the fabric of the times,” said Gregory von Hausch, the president and CEO of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. “He is brilliant, warm, and has a terrific sense of humor. My audiences loved Rob, as did my staff. For a brief time, he had the position of interim executive director at FLIFF (and) I have never seen my staff so willing to take direction. They would swim through sharks for him!

“Frankly, I can’t think of anyone so better suited to lead a film festival – myself included – as Rob Davis. I have such respect and admiration for him.”

The 2017 RiverRun International Film Festival will be held March 30-April 9.

For more information, call 336.724.1502 or visit the festival’s official website: !