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Seattle International Film Fest gets new leader

The Seattle International Film Festival's director and chief curator, Carl Spence, is stepping down after more than 20 years with SIFF.

Spence joined the organization in 1994 as an assistant to the festival founders.

He’s been SIFF’s artistic leader for the past 13 years.

During his tenure, SIFF expanded beyond the annual three-week spring festival.

It now operates two full-time movie theaters. SIFF also runs a smaller cinema and educational facility at Seattle Center.

Spence will remain at SIFF in an advisory role through next spring. Festival Programming Director Beth Barrett takes over as the organization’s interim artistic director.

The Seattle International Film Festival was founded in 1976. It bills itself as the largest film festival in North America.