FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 15, 2016
Contact: Kira Wojack
Images available upon request
President of LA Film Critics Association joins Mendocino Film Festival as 2017 Program Director
MENDOCINO, CA – The Mendocino Film Festival has announced Claudia Puig, the president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and a renowned film journalist, as the program director for 2017. As program director, she will select the films that will screen at the 12th Annual Mendocino Film Festival, June 1-4, 2017.
In addition to her work with the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Puig has an impressive and storied career. She got her start at Mary Tyler Moore Enterprises, where she was the first female production assistant. She began her journalistic career at the Los Angeles Times, where she was on the team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1993 for their reporting on the L.A. riots. She moved into entertainment reporting at the Los Angeles Times, before joining USA Today, where she became lead film critic. During her 18-year tenure at USA Today, she also hosted The Screening Room and conducted live interviews on the red carpet at the Oscars, Golden Globes, and Independent Spirit Awards.
Since 2005, Puig has been a film critic on NPR’s Film Week. She has appeared on NBC, CBS and CNN, and she has served as a consultant for movie studios and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Puig has served as a juror at film festivals around the world, from Ashland to Zurich, and she has covered Sundance, Toronto, and Cannes. Puig continues to review films for The Wrap and NPR and is a regular on the festival circuit, where she has moderated Q&As with Richard Linklater, Mindy Kaling, Ethan Hawke, Dustin Hoffman, Tim Burton, Kathryn Stockett, Casey Affleck, Felicity Jones, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone and many other notable filmmakers and actors.
“We are thrilled to have Claudia onboard,” says Michael Fox, Executive Director of the Mendocino Film Festival. “Her vision for the film festival aligns perfectly with ours, and we can’t wait to present her program in Mendocino.” Puig attended the 2016 Mendocino Film Festival and introduced several films during Festival Weekend, including The Second Mother, Our Last Tango, and Speed Sisters.
For her part, Claudia looks forward to returning to Mendocino.
“The audiences in Mendocino are always so engaged and lively and appreciative of good, smart films. Mendocino and the wine country are very special to me. The location is beautiful and the festival has historically programmed really good films. I’m excited to keep up that tradition and explore films that will captivate the audience.”
When asked about her favorite films in recent years, Puig mentions several, including Moonlight, La La Land, and Boyhood, as well as lesser-known films, like the foreign film Divines, the documentary Hooligan Sparrow, and 2016 Mendocino Film Festival selection Life, Animated. She describes her taste as “eclectic.” “There’s a good film in every genre. A good film is one that speaks to you and feels honest and true and artistic.”
As for her reason for going into film festival programming, Puig sees film festivals as a great avenue for highlighting lesser-known films that deserve to be seen.
“The world of film festivals is a fascinating one, and I think it can bring films that are creative and unusual to fans of film that wouldn’t ordinarily see them ever on TV or in theaters. It’s almost an educational mission besides being an artistic endeavor. You can champion these films. When I get to watch and hear the audience’s reaction it makes what I do worthwhile.”
ABOUT THE MENDOCINO FILM FESTIVAL: The Mendocino Film Festival has established a reputation for presenting award-winning international and independent films. Over the years, the Mendocino Film Festival has become renowned on the festival circuit, drawing filmmakers and attendees from around the world while maintaining its commitment to the local community. Featuring special events, filmmaker Q&As, and panels, the program offers the unique opportunity to meet filmmakers and film aficionados in an intimate setting while enjoying the striking natural beauty of Mendocino, which has inspired generations of artists.
For more information about the Mendocino Film Festival, please visit mendocinofilmfestival.org or contact Kira Wojack at firstname.lastname@example.org or 707-937-0171.