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NW Film Center’s Director is Stepping Down After 40 Years of Helming the Organization

Foster oversaw NW Film's growth into a local and national institution.

This week, NW Film Center's director of 37 years announced his retirement.

Bill Foster has lead the organization for the majority of its history. He oversaw the founding of Reel Music Festival and Portland Jewish Film Festival. After joining the organization in 1981, Foster helped grow Northwest Filmmakers' Festival and Portland International Film Festival from their infancy into nationally acclaimed festivals.

During Foster's tenure, NW Film has gained a reputation for its carefully curated programming, as well as for it support of regional filmmakers. Along with hosting series and festivals dedicated to Pacific Northwest filmmakers, the organization offers classes and resources for local filmmakers.

Foster's last day with the organization is August 31. An interim team of staffers will take over Foster's position while NW Film searches for a permeant replacement.

Currently, the only imminent change as a result of the new leadership is when the next PIFF will be held. The festival is usually held in February, but starting in 2019, will be held in March.

The film center is expected to release their summer programming in the coming weeks, which will feature annual series like their rooftop screenings, Top Down Cinema, plus 15 Ingmar Bergman movies as part of the nation-wide centennial retrospective in honor of the Swedish filmmaker's birth.