SIFF announces Andrea Stuart-Lehalle as new Chief Operating Officer

12/1/2023 |
Madison Zimmerman |

Former Sound Transit Safety Chief of Staff and Director of the Seattle Black Film Festival will start at SIFF on December 4, 2023

SEATTLE, WA / December 1, 2023 SIFF announced today that Andrea Stuart-Lehalle, former Seattle Sound Transit Safety Chief of Staff and Director of the Seattle Black Film Festival, will join SIFF as Chief Operating Officer beginning December 4, 2023. 

“We are thrilled to be welcoming Andrea to SIFF. She is a strong leader, a creative mentor, and true film lover whose talents and experience greatly align with the momentous work we have on the horizon,” says Tom Mara, SIFF’s Executive Director. “With our 50th Seattle International Film Festival coming in 2024 and the opening of SIFF Cinema Downtown later this month, SIFF is in a better position than ever to serve our community and we have no doubt Andrea will be a wonderful leader in that space.”

Stuart-Lehalle comes to SIFF from Seattle Sound Transit, where she was the Chief of Staff of the Safety department, and her experience includes work as the Director of the Seattle Black Film Festival (formerly Langston Hughes African American Film Festival) and Secretary of the Washington Filmworks Board of Directors. Graduating New York University with a double major in linguistics and film production from the Tisch School of the Arts Kanbar Institute of Film and Television, she has spent half of her career living and working abroad as a creative professional and has worked with many studios and festivals around the world as a filmmaker and leader.

“SIFF is a hub for creativity and is on the cusp of such an exciting period” says Stuart-Lehalle. “With so many exciting developments in SIFF’s future, there’s an opportunity to really expand on what the organization means to the creative community in Seattle and beyond. I look forward to continuing the work to create a space to amplify and champion the creative voices of filmmakers and film lovers alike, especially the least-heard.”

Recent SIFF News

SIFF Cinema Downtown opens to the public on December 14, 2023 with Warner Bros.’ Wonka. Tickets are on sale now. 

SIFF opens submissions for the 50th annual Seattle International Film Festival, taking place May 9-19, 2024.

About SIFF: 

Beginning in 1976 with the annual Seattle International Film Festival, then expanding into year-round programming, SIFF is a 501c3 cultural arts organization whose mission is to create experiences that bring people together to discover extraordinary films from around the world. It is through the art of cinema that SIFF fosters a community that is more informed, aware and alive.

In its four theaters, SIFF offers year-round screenings, Film Talks and a series of spotlight festivals throughout the year. SIFF also serves the community through educational programs and SIFFsupports, a partnership program that hosts and provides technical support to a variety of special screenings and festivals.

For showtimes and event updates, visit