Longtime indie producer Bingham Ray is the new executive director of the San Francisco Film Society, an ambitious year-round operation that runs a seven-festival fall season as well as daily programming at the Film Society New People Cinema. Ray, who has been a fan of the San Francisco International Film Festival since he first attended in 1986 and succeeds the late Graham Leggat effective November 7, told the San Francisco Chronicle, “It’s a very strong moviegoing town with a great festival and really amazing exhibition possibilities. I love the city, and I’ve said that if I could figure out a way to work in San Francisco in the film business, I’d move there yesterday. I’ve said that for years.” In addition to co-founding October Films in 1991, Ray also was president of United Artists and worked at Sidney Kimmel Entertainment. Of late he’s been a consultant to digital distributor SnagFilms and first-run programming consultant to the Film Society of Lincoln Center. With strong, enduring ties to the indie film community, Ray also served on juries of the Sundance, Rotterdam and Edinburgh film festivals and the Film Independent Spirit Awards. “I think that Bingham is bringing a lot of goodwill and a deep well of relationships,” SFFS board co-president Jen Chaiken said. “There are not that many people that could do service or justice to Graham’s legacy, but we know that Bingham will do that and more.”
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