The San Francisco Film Society has a new executive director. He's independent film producer Ted Hope, who has worked on seventy films including including prize winners like American Splendor, In the Bedroom, and the more recent Martha Marcy May Marlene.
The film society sponsors a popular international film festival annually, but also provides educational programs and services to film makers.
Hope says he's impressed by the Society's committment to innovative change.
"The real leadership of the next decade in movies," he says, "doesn't come from Hollywood, or the New York scene, but comes from places like Silicon Valley, and the way technology can start to work with film both to innovate it as an art form and to advance it as a sustainable business enterprise."
Hope arrives after a tough year for the society.
Executive director Graham Leggat died of cancer last summer, and his successor, Bingham Ray, died from a series of strokes after just ten weeks on the job.
Hope's film blog features the brick-throwing cartoon mouse Ignatz, famous from the comic strip Krazy Kat. Asked why the mouse is there, Hope said Ignatz is a symbol of his own philosophy as a producer, that sometimes he has to tell the filmmaker he's working with that their work isn't good enough. "And to me," Hope said, "it's those words that may hit you like a brick, that sometimes are the deepest demonstration of love."