Ted Hope, the indie film vet who was named executive director of the San Francisco Film Society last September, is stepping down at the end of the year and plans to get back into producing.
The position had been left vacant in January 2012 when Bingham Ray died suddenly at the Sundance Film Festival. Ray himself was only in the job for a short time; he succeeded longtime director Graham Leggat, who died of cancer in August 2011.
The San Francisco Film Society produces the annual San Francisco Film Festival, but has also grown into a year-round organization programming and promoting film through exhibitions, educational programs and the Filmmaker360 grant program, which distributes close to $1 million annual to independent films.
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Hope, one of the most active and outspoken members of the New York independent-film community, has produced more than 70 films, including “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” “The Savages” and “American Splendor.” He founded the companies This Is That, Good Machine and Double Hope Films.
Hope assumed the position on Sept. 1. The job required him to leave his longtime home of New York City and move to San Francisco, though in a statement Hope said he plans to stay in the Bay Area.
“When I came to San Francisco after producing so many films, it surprised some that I wanted to lead a non-profit organization,” Hope said. “Over the past 14 months I’ve come to realize that as much as I fully embrace the mission of the Film Society, my passion is more entrepreneurial. We accomplished a great deal at SFFS over the last year, and the same fantastic team that initially drew me to the Bay Area is still in place to drive the organization well into the future.”
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The society’s board of directors has already begun the search for a replacement, which it hopes to find by the New Year.
“The Film Society has been fortunate to have Ted Hope at its helm,” said Winton. “He brought with him a lot of great ideas about expanding our already considerable role in promoting film culture given so much disruptive change in media, and we are grateful for his tenure and guidance.”