Director of Film Programs, Curator-in-Chief


Job Title: Director of Film Programs, Curator-in-Chief 


Reports to: Executive Director                                                                    


About Us:

The Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC) is a nonprofit cultural and educational institution located in Pleasantville, NY, dedicated to presenting the best of independent narrative, documentary, and world cinema, promoting visual literacy, and making film a vibrant part of the community.

We are seeking a Director of Film Programs, Curator-in Chief to oversee our Film Programming initiatives and staff, and join our team of senior executives.


About You:

You are an experienced leader in film programming with deep and extensive knowledge of the independent and international film industries, an enthusiastic collaborator with an understanding of the power of film to educate, entertain, and inspire people of all ages, and a thought leader and community/relationship builder who intentionally and actively demonstrates the value of our mission. You are motivated to raise the profile of the JBFC through mission-authentic innovations and key collaborations, and you appreciate and respect the passion and expertise that all players bring to the table, and deploy them to shape the most impactful outcomes.


Position Objective:

Advance the mission, programs, and reputation of the JBFC across our local, national, and industry communities. Create and sustain the broad curatorial structure of cinematic programs to nurture a variety of interconnected communities through film within a versatile five-screen cinema that is also capable of hosting live performances, speakers, and panel discussions. Oversee the selection and presentation of film programs—including a wide range of independently created film series—that encourages public dialogue and discussion with guests around themes of the arts, politics, culture, social justice, science, and the environment. Lead curation with an emphasis on diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, ensuring these priorities are woven into the fabric of our film programming. Collaborate with JBFC staff to align hyper-local, community-focused programming and audience development initiatives with a broader curatorial perspective.


Primary Responsibilities:

  • Serve as a public face of the organization by attending programs, events, and receptions, and interact at all levels with the public, media, and board of directors.
  • Foster and nurture relationships with key players across the film industry including distributors, filmmakers, and outside curators.
  • Serve on the Senior Leadership Team of department heads, collaborating with internal stakeholders to set mission-based goals and strategies for the organization, and develop theater-driven earned revenue and related expense budgets and forecasts.
  • Strategize simultaneously on short, medium, and long-term programming needs, overseeing the execution and delivery of the current film calendar while planning for upcoming programmatic seasons and years.
  • Oversee the strategic deployment of five screens in our Theater to serve an appropriate mixture of new releases, curated thematic series, post-screening Q&As with special guests, live performances, and family/community-focused programming, driving earned and contributed revenue for the organization.
  • Collaborate in the strategic alignment of Film Programming with Artist Support and Educational programs, and in a broader strategy to engage key film industry partners in support of our multi-faceted mission.
  • Nurture and sustain key relationships with community stakeholders and partner organizations to create relevant and powerful film programs that advance JBFC’s position as a cultural landmark deeply rooted in the lower Hudson Valley. Deepen the impact of our programs by understanding and responding to the opportunities and challenges facing our community.
  • Serve as a standard-bearer of JBFC’s highest-quality film viewing experience; understanding, researching, and advocating for presentation protocols, practices, and technical advancements that enhance the cinematic viewing experience.
  • Support the Development staff in their efforts to raise money to underwrite film programs. Join the Director of Development in select meetings with sponsors and potential funders.
  • Support Marketing department in developing new audiences, as well as amplifying themes and messages related to curated film selections.
  • Partner with Executive Director to engage and oversee the Industry Advisory Board, and liaise between the Advisory Board and the Board of Directors.



  • Collaborate with internal and external programmers and film buyers to strategize, select, and plan JBFC’s schedule of new releases.
  • Create new thematic series and support continued series to reflect a mixture of cinematic ideas, cultural impulses, and diverse communities. Oversee both in-house and freelance curators and establish series goals.
  • Prepare and present introductions to special film programs, professionally moderate Q&As, and attend receptions and donor cultivation events.
  • Attend domestic and international film festivals to deepen and expand existing relationships, as well as build new partnerships with key industry players, peer organizations, curators, filmmakers, film festivals, etc.
  • Nurture curatorial skills amongst in-house film programming staff, fostering their professional growth and serving as an experienced industry mentor.
  • Foster supportive relationships with donors and board members, representing the programmatic funding needs of the organization.
  • Identify potential funding and sponsorship prospects, and make appropriate connections.
  • Strategize with Development staff to identify themes and special guests/talent for JBFC fundraising events.
  • Collaborate with Marketing team to grow audiences and amplify themes and messages related to film choices.
  • Support Marketing in the development of relevant and impactful marketing content and reaching new audiences for JBFC’s film programs.
  • Pitch and participate in interviews and articles for media in support of JBFC. Contribute writing, recordings, and video appearances where appropriate and necessary.
  • Create printed and virtual marketing pieces in collaboration with Marketing.
  • Oversee in-house film programming staff of curators and administrators at all levels in the acquisition of films and related terms negotiation, selection of guest speakers and moderators, planning and maintenance of master film program calendar, creation and distribution of the weekly film schedule, and logistical coordination with Theater Operations team.
  • Partner with Finance team to refine revenue and expense forecasts between budget planning cycles. Regularly monitor performance of department and program budgets. Oversee box office reporting and approval of distributor payments according to negotiated terms, and accurate recording of departmental expenses.


Preferred Experience and Qualities:

  • 5-10 years of experience leading film programming in a theater setting and/or comparable experience in a film festival, film acquisitions, or other film exhibition setting.
  • Demonstrated experience managing a team of programmers and administrators.
  • Deep familiarity with the landscape of film festivals, film-focused nonprofits and peer organizations, and granting/filmmaker support organizations.
  • Remarkable talent and experience with building and sustaining relationships, compelling writing, and confident public speaking.
  • Commitment to radical hospitality and an outstanding visitor experience, advancing institutional and audience diversity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging.


Start dateOctober 1, 2022

Salary range$125,000-$150,000, or commensurate with experience.


The JBFC offers an excellent benefit package, including:

  • Unlimited PTO after two years of service (23 days of annual PTO for the first 2 years)
  • Generous sick leave
  • Fully-covered Paid Family Leave (PFL) for all full-time staff
  • 100 percent employer paid medical, dental, and vision insurance for staff members, including a generous HRA to cover deductibles, as well as a Flexible Spending Account
  • 403(b) plan (non-matching)
  • Potential for Flexible Work Arrangements
  • Annual professional development fund
  • One paid volunteer day per 12 month period
  • Office located across the street from Metro North station (Harlem Line)


Application Instructions:

Please submit your resume and cover letter to withDirector of Film Programs 22” in the subject line of your email. No phone calls, please.

Learn more about the organization at

The Jacob Burns Film Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate in hiring and employment on the basis of race, ethnicity, creed, sex, gender (including gender identity), sexual orientation, pregnancy, genetic predisposition and/or carrier status, disability, age, religion, marital status, national origin or citizenship status, veteran status, or any other classification as protected by law.  We hire and promote individuals solely on the basis of their qualifications for the job.  We encourage all qualified candidates to apply for positions to be filled.  Please inform the JBFC if you need any assistance with the instructions provided to participate in our application process.  Questions and concerns may be directed to

This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties and responsibilities that are required of this position. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change, or new ones may be assigned.

The Jacob Burns Film Center is proud to receive generous support from:

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