Sundance exec director steps down

Ken Brecher held festival post for 14 years

Ken Brecher has ankled as exec director of the Sundance Institute, which oversees the Sundance Film Festival, after 14 years in the post.

The move comes two months after Geoffrey Gilmore’s resignation as the Sundance fest director in February to become chief creative officer at Tribeca Enterprises. Sundance elevated programmer John Cooper, a 20-year Sundance vet, to the post of fest director a month ago (Daily Variety, March 11).

Brecher’s resignation was announced Thursday and takes effect April 30. He will then serve as strategic adviser for the institute for two years.

The institute said a search for Brecher’s successor would begin shortly.

During his tenure, Brecher had advocated reaching out to filmmakers in the Middle East, helped establish the Documentary Fund, reconceived the Composers Lab, overseen the Sundance Theater Program and encouraged the growth of the documentary and world cinema offerings and the New Frontier program. He attracted grants from the Ford Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the Doris Duke Foundation, the Open Society Institute, the Annenberg Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

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