Some extremely sad news has been shared by the San Francisco Film Society. The organization’s recently appointed 57-year-old executive director Bingham Ray, a beloved titan of the independent film world, passed away this morning at a Utah hospital following a second recent stroke suffered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival last Friday. He leaves behind a wife and three children.
From today’s heartfelt SFFS website announcement:
“The board of directors and staff of the Film Society are stunned and deeply saddened by the untimely death of our executive director. We at the Film Society and the entire film community have lost far too early an energetic and visionary impact player who has helped shape the independent film industry for decades in so many important and valuable ways,” said Pat McBaine, SFFS board president. “He shall be dearly missed. Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to Bingham’s family and his legions of friends and colleagues all over the world who loved and respected him.”
Before joining the San Francisco Film Society in November, Ray was a consultant to both the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Indiewire parent company SnagFilms. His many other illustrious professional engagements included teaching at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, co-founding October Films, running United Artists and working for Sidney Kimmel Entertainment.
Tweets have begun to emanate from all devastated corners of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival (and beyond). It’s a stunning and monumental loss for the film community. RIP.