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by Peter Knegt
April 10, 2009 2:04 AM
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Ken Brecher Resigns From Sundance Institute

Ken Brecher, (left) at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival with Doron Weber from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and Sundance programmer, Trevor Groth. Photo by Brian Brooks.

Ken Brecher, Executive Director of the Sundance Institute, has resigned. "I have completed my work in building an outstanding leadership team," Brecher said in a statement. "I could not be more confident that the Institute is now poised for the next phase of its innovative work in supporting independent artists."

Wally Weisman, Chair of the Board of the Sundance Institute, announced his resignation today, noting that it will be effective April 30, 2009. Weisman stated that "Ken Brecher had led the Institute for nearly 14 years through a period of significant growth, productivity and global impact." Brecher will assume the role of Strategic Advisor for the Institute for the next two years.

Brecher was recruited by Robert Redford in 1996, and his primary responsibility has been the Institute's core programs. Under his leadership, among other activities, the Feature Film Program began its work in the Middle East supporting regional film artists. Brecher was also a key participant in establishing the Sundance Institute's Documentary Fund. Working in more than 50 countries, it has supported films such as "Born into Brothels," "Iraq in Fragments," and "Trouble the Water."

"Brecher's efforts," Weisman said in a statement, "will stand the Institute in good stead in the years ahead."

A search for a successor to Brecher "will be commenced in the near term."

This news comes after a series of changes at Sundance, from Sundance Film Festival director Geoff Gilmore's departure to John Cooper, former Director of Creative Development for the Sundance Institute and Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival, being promoted to Gilmore's old position.

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