Ted Hope Named San Francisco Film Society Executive Director

The indie film veteran will take the reins Sept. 1.

New York indie film world veteran Ted Hope is taking the reins of the San Francisco Film Society, beginning Sept. 1.

The move comes as a surprise to the New York film community, where Hope has become one of the most influential figures, producing such recent movies as Todd Solondz’s Dark Horse, Sean Durkin’s Martha Marcy May Marlene and Greg Mottola’s Adventureland and working with a who's-who of auteurs including Ang LeeMichel GondryNicole HolofcenerAlan Ball, Todd Field and Hal Hartley.

Hope succeeds Bingham Ray, who served as the San Francisco Film Society’s executive director for only 10 weeks before his sudden death in January.

“The film world -- be it in content, creation, business or audience -- has changed significantly over the last 20 years, and we all must change with it,” said Hope, who has produced more than 70 films through his companies Good Machine, This Is That and Double Hope Films. “It’s time that the film industry looked not just to Hollywood but instead to the Bay Area and Silicon Valley, and San Francisco Film Society is a major artistic voice positioned right in the heart of this vibrant cultural location.”

Hope, known for keen eye for emerging talent, called the opportunity "an extension of producing." In 1990, he co-founded with James Schamus the production and sales powerhouse Good Machine, which they sold to Universal in 2002.

“Ted Hope is the perfect choice to build on the San Francisco Film Society’s already strong reputation for supporting filmmakers and its established excellence in exhibition and education,” said SFFS board president Pat McBaine. “His absolute grasp of the current state of film culture, his innovative approach to each of his projects, his dedication to bringing artists’ visions to the screen and his bold plans for the Film Society are exciting to us all. We are truly fortunate to have one of the industry’s most creative thinkers take the helm going forward.”

Hope joins the San Francisco Film Society as the 55-year-old organization is in the process of expanding its efforts to support indie voices via its Filmmaker360 program, already one of the largest film grant programs in the country, dispersing nearly $1 million per year. Recent Filmmaker360 success stories include Beasts of the Southern Wild.