THE chair of the Edinburgh International Film Festival has stepped down less than two weeks before the start of this year’s event.
Bob Last, the chairman of the Centre for the Moving Image, which oversees the operation of the EIFF, has announced he is to stand down with immediate effect.
His resignation comes just three months after the appointment of Mark Adams as the festival’s new artistic director. The previous artistic director Chris Fujiwara stood down in September without explanation shortly after renewing his contract.
Mr Last, a producer who has worked on films including Sunset Song and The Illusionist, had been in the post for less than three years.
He said: “It’s been an honour and a pleasure to chair the CMI.
“We have made huge strides in developing the business, including raising the profile and standing of EIFF. I wish Ken Hay and the whole team all the best with the ongoing transformation of the CMI.”
Under his tenure the festival has seen a constant increase in audiences. Ken Hay, chief executive of the CMI, praised Mr Last, describing him as someone who had brought focus and energy to the role of chair.
He said: “Bob has been a fantastic chair, bringing focus, energy and passion to the role, as the organisation has continued to transform itself. He has been a huge personal support to me.”
Mr Last’s resignation comes on the same day as members of the festival juries were announced.
Among the jurors are the Scottish actress and director Karen Gillan, respected LA Times Film Critic Kenneth Turan and renowned director Amy Berg.