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Film Independent promotes duo

McManus, Welsh named co-presidents of org

Film Independent has promoted Senior Director Sean McManus and Director of Artist Development Josh Welsh to the newly created positions of co-presidents.

The duo succeeds former exec director Dawn Hudson, who departed in June to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences as CEO. The org’s signature programs are the Film Independent Spirit Awards, Los Angeles Film Festival and the Film Independent at LACMA Film Series.

Bill Condon, chairman of Film Independent, made the announcement Tuesday.

“The Board of Directors and staff are delighted to have Sean and Josh as Co-Presidents,” he said in a statement. “They are a seasoned team whose skills and expertise complement one another beautifully. They collectively possess 25 years of experience, in every area of the organization, and it’s clear they have a shared vision that will take Film Independent to its next level of growth.”

Mc Manus joined Film Independent in 1998 as development director and was promoted to senior director in 2006, overseeing 36 full-time staff members and more than 100 contract employees. He’s credited with the expansion of the organization’s annual budget from approximately $1.6 million to more than $8.5 million, in addition to securing $3.5 million in yearly in-kind contributions.

Welsh has been responsible for the the past decade for the overall design, strategic planning and implementation of all of Film Independent’s Artist Development program, includuding the Filmmaker Labs for Directors, Screenwriters, Producers and Documentarians, Fast Track, and the Grants Program, and four years administering Film Independent’s signature diversity program, Project Involve.

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