Updated 4:40 p.m. Thursday
For the fifth time in 10 years, the Miami International Film Festival is seeking a new director.
Tiziana Finzi, who had served as artistic director since 2009, will not return for a third year. Miami Dade College, which presents the festival, declined to renew her contract, which expires June 30.
Finzi, who had recently attended the Tribeca and Cannes festivals, said she learned of the decision Wednesday via a telephone call from George Andrews, MDC's Chief of Staff.
"I don't understand what happened," Finzi said from Italy. "He just said 'I would like to tell you that your contract is not being renewed, good luck and ciao.' I don't know if something within the festival is changing, but I don't think it was personal, because everyone at the college was very nice to me."
Finzi said she offered to renegotiate the terms of her contract when she returns to Miami on June 22. But she said Andrews told her "there was nothing to talk about." MDC administrators declined to comment.
Finzi's programming had veered toward the daring and experimental, although her choices also included such crowd-pleasers as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and the Oscar-winning The Secret in Their Eyes.
In March, she told The Miami Herald that "a festival director needs at least three years in order to really connect with and educate their audience. This is my second, and hopefully I will get a third."
Finzi's departure is one of several staffing changes. Vivian Donnell Rodriguez, MDC's director of cultural affairs, who had managed the festival's administrative operations for the last three years, retired in May. Valeria Sorrentino, assistant director for programming and events, has accepted a position with the Rio International Film Festival.
This year's festival operated under a $1.6 million budget, screened 115 feature-length and short films and drew 65,000 admissions. College representatives issued a statement promising the festival would return as scheduled next year and that staff changes will not "affect the operations nor the status of the festival in any way ... This transition also provides the college an opportunity to assess the operations and implementation of the festival to ensure the beloved cultural event is the very best it can be."