Adelaide Fringe names new Director with UK festival credentials

By / 6th of January, 2015
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THE Adelaide Fringe, the Southern Hemisphere's largest arts festival, has appointed international documentary festival director Heather Croall as its next Director and CEO.

She is leaving a similar role at the Sheffield International Documentary Festival in England - Doc/Fest - to return to her home state of South Australia.

"After living in the UK for nearly a decade, I am absolutely over the moon to know that I am coming home to South Australia to take up this amazing job," Croall said.

Her tenure at Doc/Fest saw it become one of the world's leading film festivals, with attendance numbers swelling thanks to Croall's initiatives such as the Interactive section and MeetMarket networking event.

“[Outgoing Director] Greg Clarke has done a phenomenal job at the Adelaide Fringe in recent years and I am inheriting a festival that is in great shape. I‘m looking forward to expanding areas of the Fringe especially around new and emerging art forms while also protecting the brilliant work of the Fringe directors before me.

“I can’t wait to be given the chance to transform the landscape of Adelaide and beyond with weird, wonderful and surprising works in the most unexpected places. It is thrilling to run a festival that attracts so many visitors from around the world and Australia but most of all, it is exciting to present the Fringe for the people of Adelaide who love to see their city buzzing.”

Adelaide Fringe Chair David Minear said the festival was delighted to have lured Heather home to take on the position.

“Replacing current Director and CEO Greg Clarke was always going to be a big ask but in Heather Croall, the Adelaide Fringe has found a very strong answer,” Minear said.

“Heather is an exciting, ideas-rich entrepreneur and leader with a proven arts track record. She understands the power of team and setting a clear vision. She also has a wicked sense of fun.

“Heather now has the wonderful opportunity to stamp her finger prints on the look, the flavour, the texture and destiny of this much-loved South Australian event.”

In November last year, the Sheffield Hallam University awarded Heather an Honorary Doctorate for services to film and culture.

In 2013, the Alliance of Women of Film Journalists named her Ambassador of Women’s Films for her work “to boost documentary film and open opportunities for women filmmakers”.

RealScreen.com named her one of their 2011 'Trailblazers' for her risk-taking approach to nonfiction film work.

Heather was the Director of the Australian International Documentary Conference from 2003-06 and was the recipient of the Australian Film Commission Fellowship Program in 2005.

Heather will officially take up the role at the conclusion of this year’s Fringe, which runs from 13 February until 15 March in Adelaide, South Australia.