New York Fest Opens with a Retirement; IFP Honors "Manito"
and Palm Gets "The Sea"
by Eugene Hernandez and Matthew Ross/indieWIRE
>> Koch Annouces Retirement at Opening of 40th New York Film Festival
(indieWIRE: 09.30.02) — After 32 years at the helm, Joanne Koch will retire
from her post as chief operating and financial officer of The Film Society
of Lincoln Center, effective June 2003. The announcement was made from the
stage of Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center on Friday night, at the opening
of the 40th New York Film Festival. The event kicked off with the premiere of
Alexander Payne‘s new film, “About Schmidt.”
During her tenure, Joanne Koch managed the New York Film Festival and was
instrumental in launching, in 1972, the New Directors/New Films Festival.
Koch has been the publisher of the Film Society’s bi-monthly magazine,
Film Comment, since she initiated its acquisition in 1974, and has
co-produced nineteen of the Film Society’s gala tributes, which annually
honor a major film artist.
Friday’s celebration on a rainy night at Lincoln Center and at the
post-screening party at Tavern on the Green, recognized Koch alongside the
cast and crew of “Schmidt.” Jack Nicholson, star of the film, was among
the celebrities in the spotlight on opening night, others included fellow
actors from the film, Dermot Mulroney, Hope Davis, and Kathy Bates. Also
joining the festivities were stars Salma Hayek, Keanu Reaves, Ben Gazarra,
Julianne Moore, Sonia Braga, Josh Lucas and film festival fixture Sylvia
Miles. Execs from numerous New York City film companies were in attendance
along with festival filmmakers.
Joanne Koch indicated that she will continue to serve as project director
of the Film Society’s participation in the Lincoln Center Constituents
Development Project, which includes plans to build two new film theaters
in the Lincoln Center complex, and to update film projection facilities
at Alice Tully Hall and the Walter Reade Theater. She will also continue
as a member of the Film Society’s Board of Directors, in her current
position of executive vice president. Koch began her career in film at
The Museum of Modern Art in 1950. She joined the Film Society in 1971
to program its Movies in the Parks series and that same year became
administrator of the New York Film Festival. In 1976 she was named
executive director of the Film Society and in 1999 she joined the
Film Society’s board.
Claudia Bonn, who will succeed Koch as executive director next summer,
came to the Film Society in 1993 as director of development and in
1999 was named as director of administration and development. While
at the Film Society Ms. Bonn has been responsible for all aspects of
fundraising, including working with corporations, foundations, and
private donors. When Ms. Koch steps down, Marian Masone will assume
a significant portion of her role as administrator of the New York
Film Festival and New Directors/New Films. Currently associate
director of programming, Ms. Masone has been with the Film Society
Friday’s night’s soggy Tavern on the Green soiree found some guests
huddling under the temporary tents and dodging puddles, while others
enjoyed the swing music inside the restaurant. After 1 a.m., cabs
took guests to the downtown restaurant Man Ray for New Line Cinema‘s
after-after party. Jack Nicholson held court downstairs until the wee
hours of the morning as guests toasted the opening of the festival.
The New York Film Festival runs through October 13th when the event
closes with Pedro Almodovar‘s “Talk to Her.” [Matthew Ross, with
reports from Eugene Hernandez]
>> “Manito” and Eason Win Open Palm Prize as Gothams Jumpstart 2002