All change at Sundance

Executive director Ken Brecher quits.

by Amber Wilkinson

The Sundance Institute was facing further upheaval last night after its executive director Ken Brecher announced his resignation.

His decision to quit after almost 14 years in the post, comes just two months after director Geoff Gilmore left for pastures new at the Tribeca Enterprises, leaving John Cooper to take the helm at Sundance.

Chair of the board of the Sundance Institute Wally Weisman, says Brecher leave his post on April 30 but will assume the role of strategic adviser for the Institute for the next two years.

Brecher - who has a history of directorships including museum and theatre work - was recruited by Sundance founder Robert Redford in 1996.

Since then he has chiefly been responsible for the Institute's core programmes. He had a key role in establishing the Institute's Documentary Fund and in expanding and developing its Feature Film Program in the Middle East and Composers Lab. His tenure also saw the Playrwright's Retreat evolve into the Sundance Theatre Program and the establishment of the Sundance Collection at UCLA, which aims to conserve the history of independent film.

Brecher was also responsible for establishing the Institute's strong and diverse base of support for the $26 million annual operating budget.

Last night, Brecher said: "I have completed my work in building an outstanding leadership team. I could not be more confident that the Institute is now poised for the next phase of its innovative work in supporting independent artists."

Weisman added: "Brecher's efforts will stand the Institute in good stead in the years ahead."

No successor has yet been named.
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