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COLOGNE, Germany – The Berlin film festival and its European Film Market (EFM) will pay tribute to indie film pioneer Bingham Ray with a memorial service to the October Films’ co-founder, who died suddenly last week.
Sony Classics’ Michael Barker and Telluride Festival co-founder Tom Luddy along with Berlin festival director Dieter Kosslick and EFM director Beki Probst will attend the event, which will be held at the EFM’s new American Independents in Berlin lounge at 4.30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 13.
Ray’s sudden death last Monday, following complications from a stroke, shocked the indie film world and cast a pall over this year’s Sundance film festival. As head of October Films and then later at United Artists, Ray helped introduce U.S. audiences to European masters including Lars von Trier and Mike Leigh, as well as championing American directors such as Michael Moore.
Leigh, who is president of the competition jury in Berlin this year, described Ray to THR as “a truly unique” person and “a consummate piss taker.”
Ray had recently taken on a new position as executive director of the San Francisco Film Society and was planning to head to Sundance in this capacity when he suddenly took ill and was admitted to the Utah Valley Regional Media Center in Provo on Jan.19. He died four days later.
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