New leader Manus sees 'moment of rebirth' for Film Society in N.Y.


The Film Society of Lincoln Center has nabbed its third executive director in 37 years, this one from another top New York cultural institution: former Public Theater executive director Mara Manus.

Manus will oversee the New York Film Festival and other film programs, the Lincoln Center-based film center due in 2010, Film Comment magazine and several of the city's premier cultural events.

Despite a NYFF promo proudly trumpeting criticism that the fest and its audience are "demanding, inflexible and insanely selective," Manus said she will help oversee a "rebranding strategy" that will build a greater community and wider film industry base.

"We want people to know we provide a standard of excellence and serious filmmaking but that we're not just about foreign films. We're much bigger than that," she said. "It's about how can we make people into film lovers? It feels like a moment of rebirth."

Although FSLC never will be a film market, its programs draw film execs looking to launch projects or scout for specialty film pickups and emerging talent, something Manus wants to expand. "We want more people in L.A. to experience what we have to offer and explore how we can make the industry feel (our films aren't) overly specialized even though we're discerning, and that they can be a part of it," she said. (partialdiff)