Lumpkin came to AFI in 2015 to serve as the director of AFI Docs, and in 2018 was promoted to oversee both AFI Docs and AFI Fest. Michael Lumpkin, who has overseen AFI Fest for the past three years, has retired, as director of the American Film Institute’s AFI Festival, the second AFI docks, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. AFI is currently interviewing candidates to succeed him.
Lumpkin to serve as Director of AFI in 2015 AFI Docs, Washington, D.C. And came to the organization’s annual documentary film festival in Silver Springs. In June 2018, AFI merged the programming and operations staff of AFI Docs and AFI Fest, with its Hollywood-based Awards launching-pad each fall, and named Lumpkin as the first person to oversee both.
A spokesman for AFI confirmed his departure, saying, “Michael Lumpkin led AFI Festivals for six years with a unique blend of style and grace.” “We are indebted to him for his deep commitment to the film community and his artistic curiosity. He will always be a part of the AFI family, inspiring us to find new and exciting ways for filmmakers to explore audiences. “
In 2019, Apple TV + canceled its world premiere screening of The Banker, slated for the finale night after being accused of molesting a relative of one of the subjects of the film. And in 2020, the global epidemic forced the festival to be held in its entirety.
Prior to joining AFI, Lumpkin served as executive director of the International Documentary Association for six years, and before that worked at Framing and its San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival for 25 years. He was also the producer of the acclaimed 1995 documentary The Celluloid Closet about gay representation in Hollywood films.