Melbourne International Film Festival appoints Damien Hodgkinson as new CEO

MIFF Damien HodgkinsonThe Board of Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) has announced the appointment of Damien Hodgkinson in the newly created role of Chief Executive Officer, marking an exciting new chapter in the organisation’s storied history.

“We are thrilled to welcome Damien as CEO. His passion for the arts and his extensive leadership experience position him to make a positive impact on MIFF’s future,” said Teresa Zolnierkiewicz, Chair of MIFF’s Board of Directors.

“We are confident that under his leadership, and with the excellent team that is already in place, the Festival’s resilience will be fortified and MIFF’s cultural influence will be augmented and amplified.”

Damien joins Australia’s largest film festival after 11 years at the helm of Melbourne International Comedy Festival as its Executive Director. In that role, he successfully grew the Festival’s audience and impact.

Before this, he served as Executive Director Operations & Company Secretary with the Australia Business Arts Foundation and has also been CEO of Melbourne Fringe Festival.

Damien’s extensive experience – both executive and non-executive – crosses festivals, performing arts, visual arts, artists with a disability, arts for young people and tertiary arts education.

He has also held national leadership roles in the government, not-for-profit and corporate sectors. This dedication to promoting diversity and inclusion resonates with MIFF’s commitment to championing dynamic and diverse voices from across the globe.

As MIFF’s new CEO, Damien will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the Festival. His leadership will be instrumental in advancing MIFF’s purpose to discover and showcase exceptional film talent and cinematic artistry and to deliver compelling festival experiences for audiences.

“I am both excited and honoured to join the MIFF team and for the opportunity to lead this iconic Festival through this next phase,” said Damien. “MIFF is a beloved part of Melbourne’s winter experience and cultural expression and more broadly, it plays an increasingly important role in the global and local film industry.”

Damien will commence his role as CEO of Melbourne International Film Festival in March 2024. This year’s Festival will run 8 – 25 August. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Damien Hodgkinson (supplied)