Film Streams has selected Deirdre Haj as Executive Director, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). She will begin her tenure on May 17, 2021.
For more than a decade, Ms. Haj has served as Executive Director of the esteemed Full Frame Documentary Film Festival based in Durham, North Carolina. Under her leadership, Full Frame developed into a prized, Oscar-qualifying festival. She also established year-round programming and community engagement as well as prioritized equity, diversity, and inclusion across the organization and its programming. During her tenure, she led the creation of the nationally acclaimed School of Doc filmmaking course for teens, the Teach the Teachers documentary literacy program for educators, and the festival’s celebrated Speakeasy Conversations series, including an annual #DocSoWhite panel addressing the lack of diversity in the documentary filmmaking field. Ms. Haj also oversaw a consistent annual growth in membership and developed resources to build new Full Frame offices, as well the Full Frame Theater in downtown Durham.
In addition to numerous public speaking engagements, Ms. Haj has served on various festival panels, including for the Milwaukee Film Festival, DC Shorts Film Festival, Oxford Film Festival, Woodstock Film Festival, Montclair Film Festival, and Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival. She was also one of the founders and first Vice President of the Film Festival Alliance. Ms. Haj holds a bachelor of fine arts degree from the State University of New York at Purchase College.
In making the announcement, Board Chair Mike Lebens said, “We are thrilled to welcome Deirdre as the next Executive Director of Film Streams. Deirdre’s remarkable experience, her genuine passion for the art of film, and her belief and commitment in cinemas as community builders make her the ideal person to advance Film Streams’ mission. She is joining a great organization with tremendous staff and amazing supporters and we are delighted to welcome her to Omaha.”
“I am excited and humbled to follow founder Rachel Jacobson and work with the talented team she has established,” said Ms. Haj. “The Film Streams family’s devotion to its community through its celebration of cinema can be felt in the very halls of the Ruth Sokolof and Dundee Theaters. School children and celebrities feel equally at home here. I can’t wait to join the thriving artistic community of Omaha.”
“Congratulations to the Film Streams board and staff on the appointment of Deidre Haj as its next Executive Director,” said ACG Senior Vice President Wyona Lynch-McWhite. “As a collaborative and engaged leader with a passion for both community and cinema, we look forward to seeing her help enhance Film Streams’ outstanding programming and maximize the organization’s impact in both Omaha and the international film community.”