newportFILM announced today that Executive Director Rebecca Bertrand will be leaving the organization. The Board of Directors is actively working with the search firm Operations Inc. to find its next executive director.

According to a press release from newportFILM, “Bertrand has led newportFILM’s year-round documentary film program since 2017 after first serving as the organization’s Managing Director. During her tenure as Executive Director, she worked with Co-Founder and Artistic Director Andrea van Beuren and the team to expand the organization’s community and industry enriching programs. Under her leadership the organization’s Newport County-wide education program, which brings meaningful, curriculum-based documentaries to K-12 students, expanded to reach more than 2,000 students per year. Rebecca also helped co-create a successful Cinematography Lab, which brought a diverse group of up-and-coming film talent to the Norman Bird Sanctuary for three days of showcasing work and receiving mentorship from award-winning cinematographers”.

former Executive Director, Becca Betrand (photo credit: Jennifer Manville Photography)

“Leading newportFILM has been an incredible honor and I am thankful to our community for the opportunity,” says Bertrand in a statement. “I am incredibly grateful to the staff, board of directors, sponsors, partners and volunteers for their unwavering support over the years.  newportFILM will always hold a special place in my heart, and I look forward to joining as an audience member at future films.”  Rebecca has accepted a position at the New York Yacht Club Foundation, where she will serve as the organization’s first Executive Director and will pursue her passion for both philanthropy and historic preservation. 

“Becca and I have had a wonderful and collaborative working relationship during her time at newportFILM,” says Artistic Director and Co-Founder Andrea van Beuren in a statement. “Her determination and focus have allowed her to skillfully manage everyday operations, while consistently driving forward the overarching mission of newportFILM. We have grown tremendously under Becca’s leadership, and I wish her only the best of luck with her new position at the New York Yacht Club Foundation.”

“Becca’s unwavering commitment and unflappable demeanor have always been an asset to newportFILM,” says Board President Kimberly Palmer. “And never has this been more true than during the past 17 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. While many arts organizations struggled to stay afloat and operational, Becca’s ability to swiftly pivot to events such as virtual and drive-in screenings gave people an important and meaningful way to continue to gather during this difficult time. This was no small feat from either a technical or an operational standpoint, and Becca handled the challenge with grace and a remarkable sense of duty.”

In the interim, newportFILM says that Terri Conners will lead the newportFILM team through the summer season. Terri previously served as Executive Director from 2010 through 2017, when she transitioned to a position on the organization’s Board of Directors.

newportFILM’s series brings over 20,000 moviegoers from around the world each year. 2021 marks the 12th summer season of hosting screenings at picturesque outdoor locations, thoughtfully paired with each film, in and around historic Aquidneck Island. The majority of the year-round program is free to the public.

newportFILM’s mission is to inspire, educate, and entertain by presenting current and impactful documentaries that build community and propel change.

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp, LLC. Belmore has led What's Up Newp since December 2012. Belmore also serves as the Sr. Editor - North America for Mountain News - publisher of OnTheSnow. In his spare time, Belmore serves as the Vice President for the Board of Directors at Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors at Lucy's Hearth. Belmore is also a member and supporter of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.