Ted Hope

Filmmaker seeking a return to producing

Ted Hope is departing as head of the San Francisco Film Society, which runs the San Francisco Film Festival, after slightly over a year in the post.

Hope told Variety that he wants to return to being a producer and entrepreneur. He will remain in his position until the end of the year and said he will assist the society’s board in the search for a successor.

Hope started in the post in September 2012, filling the slot left vacant by the death of Bingham Ray. He informed the society’s board of his decision last Friday.

Hope has been a vocal proponent of the need to change film business models, writing often on the subject on his blog Truly Free Film. He praised the society’s financial support for indie filmmakers via its Filmmaker 360 program, which helped finance “Fruitvale Station.”

“When I came to San Francisco after producing so many films, it surprised some that I wanted to lead a nonprofit organization,” said Hope. “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.”

Hope has produced or exec produced nearly 70 films, including Todd Solondz’s “Dark Horse,” Sean Durkin’s “Martha Marcy May Marlene” and Todd Field’s “In the Bedroom.”

Hope had continued to produce while in San Francisco, and he promised that he will focus on quality rather than quantity in the future.

“I think I’ve weaned myself of the indie producing addiction, which requires that you produce two films a year,” he added. “I want my films to be handcrafted jewels.”

Hope had relocated to San Francisco from New York, where he had produced independent films through Good Machine, This Is That and Double Hope Films. He said he will remain in San Francisco with his filmmaker spouse.

“Vanessa and I plan to stay in the Bay Area, and I look forward to staying involved in an advisory role and collaborating with the Film Society in our film-related activities,” he said. “I love the film community here. And it’s the most beautiful city in the country.”

The 57th San Francisco Film Festival will take place from April 24 to May 8.

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