UPDATE, Sunday 1:55 PM: Cinefamily announced on Instagram that it has established a hotline in the wake of the investigation into recent sexual harassment allegations against former members of the organization. The post said it opened the hotline so that members of the public can “provide information in a safe and secure manner that might be relevant to the independent investigation.”
The organization suspended all its activities less than a month ago after allegations led to the exit of two of its executives.
PREVIOUS, August 26: The popular Los Angeles-based film venue Cinefamily said that it will suspend all activities following allegations of sexual harassment that led to the exit of executives Hadrian Belove and Shadie Elnashai.
In a statement released on their website and social media platforms, Cinefamily said, “Recently, claims were made alleging improper behavior by one of more members of the organization.” It continues, “The Board of Directors of The Cinefamily has no tolerance for any form of behavior that does not conform to the high standards demanded by our members and staff and that of common human decency.” By suspending activities it will “allow for the investigation and necessary restructure of management and the board.”
Read the full statement below.
As noted in the letter, Cinefamily has brought on Giles Miller at Lynx Insights & Investigations, to “conduct a thorough investigation into any alleged impropriety.”
The sexual harassment allegations stem from an anonymous email that was sent to Cinefamily members which cited a 2014 case against co-founder and executive director Hadrian Belove that ended in a settlement. The email also accused vice president of the board of directors Shadie Elnashai of “raping multiple women.” Shortly after the allegations were made public, the two resigned. [UPDATE: Shadie Elnashai has denied these allegations in a statement. Cinefamily shut down operations on Nov. 14]
Academy Award-winning actress Brie Larson became very vocal about the issue taking to Twitter saying, “The allegations at Cinefamily are upsetting to me personally, both as an advocate for sexual assault survivors and a member of the community.”
Cinefamily is an institution for lovers of cinema in Los Angeles based in the historic Silent Movie Theatre. Known for their screenings of cult classics and special events, the venue served as the go-to spot for unique movie-going experiences that catered to their members and film lovers.