More Upheaval at Sundance: Ken Brecher Resigns

No replacement yet for the executive director, who steps down April 30 after 19 years.

The Sundance Institute has had another upheaval — the second in just two months.


Executive director Ken Brecher, who has led the organization’s management for the last 14 years, has announced his resignation, effective April 30. In February, Sundance Film Director Geoff Gilmore left after 19 years to join forces with Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal at Tribeca Enterprises as chief creative officer. He was replaced by John Cooper, Sundance’s director of film programming.

No replacement for Brecher has been announced, and a search will begin in the near fugure, according to Wally Weisman, Sundance Institute chair. Brecher will remain with the Institute as strategic adviser for the next two years, said Weisman.

Brecher was recruited by Sundance’s visionary founder Robert Redford in 1996 and has run the Institute’s core programs, including overseeing the Documentary Fund, the Playwrights Retreat and the Composers Lab. He also established the Sundance Collection at UCLA, where the history of independent film is preserved and conserved.

Brecher also was responsible for establishing a strong and diverse base of support for the Institute’s $26 million annual operating budget.

"I have completed my work in building an outstanding leadership team. I could not be more confident that the Institute is now poised for the next phase of its innovative work in supporting independent artists," Brecher said.