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Cinefamily to Permanently Shut Down Following Sexual Harassment Scandal

Los Angeles independent film venue Cinefamily will permanently shut down and dissolve the board following allegations of sexual misconduct made against some of Cinefamily’s executives in August that led to two resignations from the company.

Silent Movie Theater, Cinefamily’s longtime home, will be closed and renovated by the landlord, while the board will establish a transition team to handle the organization’s financial and legal affairs, according to a statement from the board of directors.

“The damage caused to the organization by the conduct of some and the crippling debt now facing the Cinefamily are, in the Board’s view, irreparable,” the board of directors wrote in a statement.

As previously reported by Variety, Cinefamily temporarily suspended all activities in August amid the scandal where anonymous emails accused Cinefamily leaders of sexual harassment. Executive director and co-founder Hadrian Belove and board member Shadie Elnashai resigned on Aug. 22.

“While no victims emerged to corroborate the allegation of rape widely circulated in an anonymous email, the investigation identified serious concerns, including breaches of acceptable behavior alleged to have happened at Cinefamily offices and events; a climate that discouraged employees and volunteers from reporting distressing workplace incidents and/or made them feel unheard if they did so; and critical lapses in communication from the executive management to the Board,” the statement said.

The board also called the alleged inappropriate behavior “utterly indefensible,” adding that they “condemn it unequivocally.”

“This decision also comes amid the very necessary and overdue conversation about sexual assault and harassment in our industry,” they said. “As individuals, we applaud the difficult work of victims everywhere who have come forward and spoken up about misconduct, and we continue to hope that any person mistreated by anyone connected to the Cinefamily will seek help in reporting any such incidents to the appropriate authorities.”

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