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Atlanta Film Festival director Wardell departing

Gabe Wardell, executive director of the Atlanta Film Festival, is leaving the job after four years.

A statement from the board of directors of parent organization ATL Film 365 said only that it had “elected to pursue a re-focused leadership and operational strategy.”

Tom Karsh, a former Turner Broadcasting executive and a co-chair of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival’s selection committee, will run the Atlanta Film Festival temporarily, with Wardell staying on during an unspecified period of  transition.

The board said it would undertake a nationwide search for Wardell’s replacement.

Founded by IMAGE, the festival has championed independent films and filmmakers since 1977. It has grown under Wardell’s watch to present year-round programs, including screenings, discussions, panels and educational outreach.

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