A Brunswick woman who has served as executive and artistic director of the Maine Jewish Film Festival for the past four years is stepping down.

Louise Rosen announced her decision Saturday night at the Nickelodeon Cinemas in Portland, just minutes before the premiere of a festival film about the origins of a men’s tackle football league in Israel.

A crowd of about 150 people showed up to view the movie, “Touchdown Israel, Tackle Football in the Holy Land,” a feature-length documentary about the influence American football has had on Israelis and the role that New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft played in establishing the 10-team Israeli Football League.

Rosen gave no details as to why she was leaving, only mentioning that the 2016 Maine Jewish Film Festival, which opened Saturday, would be her last.

“I started this position in November 2012 with a mandate to make the festival live up to its name as the ‘Maine’ Jewish Film Festival,” Rosen said in prepared remarks. “Over the course of four festivals we’ve done that with screenings and events taking place in Waterville, Rockland, Bangor, Augusta, Lewiston and Brunswick.

“In each of these locations we’ve had the good fortune to work with some great people and venues that have supported our efforts, while giving us a sense of just how challenging it can be to expand cultural experiences statewide,” Rosen said.

Rosen could not be reached for further comment Sunday night, but Robin Rubenstein, president of the film festival’s board of directors, said Rosen will be missed. The volunteer board now has to decide whether to make the position full time before it begins a search for a replacement. Rosen has been a part-time employee, Rubenstein said.

“Louise, quite honestly, has given us a much wider vision,” Rubenstein said. “She is just incredible in terms of her talent.”

Rubenstein said Rosen has her own company and works as a film consultant. She travels across the country and world.

The Maine Jewish Film Festival is in its 19th year. Since its modest beginnings in a South Portland community hall, the festival has shown more than 375 domestic and foreign films, hosted more than 125 guest speakers from around the world, and sold more than 37,000 tickets. Maine is one of the smallest states in the nation to host an independent, professional Jewish film festival.

The 2016 festival, which runs through Saturday, offers 24 feature films and a program of shorts selected by Rosen and her board. There are dramas, comedies and even a horror film among the showings. Tickets are $10 per screening, as well as $8 for students and adults over 65.

Rosen said the big question facing the festival will be whether it can continue to sustain showing films statewide while cultural nonprofits compete with social service nonprofits for a limited amount of funding.

Rosen said Mainers should be commended for their support of both cultural and social service nonprofit organizations, adding: “Diversity in arts and culture is just as important as any other kind of diversity. Diversity strengthens, homogeneity weakens.”

In her opening night remarks, Rosen said she is hopeful that sense of duty around giving to cultural nonprofits will extend beyond the baby boomers. “We’re optimistic younger generations will feel compelled to give to culture in the same way they give to MoveOn.org and political candidates,” Rosen said. She also asked if younger people would give money to cultural organizations outside the mainstream.

“It takes more than Broadway shows and standard symphony repertoire and American pastoralist painting to define the cultural identity of a place,” she said.