By Brendan Swift

Sydney Film Festival chief executive Mark Sarfaty has resigned, just over one year since his appointment to the position.

The festival has had several chief executives over the past five years with Sarfaty initially stepping into the position after Fiona Cameron left just months into the job to take a position at Screen Australia in June 2008.

Prior to taking the SFF role, Sarfaty headed Dendy Cinemas for seven years and also acted as a regular consultant to business and government on film related matters.

He reduced the length of the SFF 2009 festival (which is run by a private company rather than government) from 19 to 12 days, although daily attendance increased almost 40 per cent on the previous year.

"I am of course, proud of the achievements of the Sydney Film Festival 2009 and I thank everyone who assisted in creating a successful outcome for this year’s festival," Sarfaty wrote in an email today.
"I wish the company and board every success for the future.
"I will be continuing as CEO and a board director of the Independent Cinemas Association of Australia and look forward to continuing to engaging with many of you on issues important to the Australian film industry in that capacity …"

An SFF spokeswoman said an interim board member will assist with the festival’s day to day management until a review aimed at finding a replacement is completed.

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