After almost a month in limbo that left the film community eagerly awaiting the news of a replacement for Geoff Gilmore, Sundance Institute announced in a press release late last night that they are appointing John Cooper as the director of the Sundance Film Festival. According to a story in indieWIRE, Gilmore announced, much to the surprise of many industry professionals, last month that he would be leaving the fest after 19 years to take the position of Chief Creative Officer for Tribeca Enterprises.

Cooper, the former Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival and Director of Creative Development for the Sundance Institute, has pioneered several new initiatives for Sundance over the past few years including New Frontier on Main, Sundance at BAM, The Sundance Institute Art House Project and the distribution of Sundance shorts through various digital platforms like iTunes and XBOX.

In the press release, Sundance Institute President and Founder Robert Redford is quoted as saying, "When we established the Festival, it was always with two goals in mind: supporting new artists and inspiring new audiences. Cooper has never lost sight of these goals. He brings to the position an infectious enthusiasm as well as a deep understanding of the Sundance brand and culture. Forward thinking, he is a natural choice of succession to lead the Festival into the 21st century."