Film Independent said that senior director Sean McManus and director of artist development Josh Welsh have been appointed co-presidents, a new position. That fills the hole left when longtime executive director Dawn Hudson departed in April to take the CEO role at the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences. Chairman Bill Condon made the announcement today. The appointments seem to address both the administrative and artist sides of the organization. McManus joined up in 1998 and became senior director in 2006, in which capacity he oversees staff, fund development, marketing and communications, and technology. Since then, the group’s annual budget has grown from $1.6 million to more than $8.5 million. Welsh has overseen and designed the programs for Film Independent’s Filmmaker Labs for Directors, Screenwriters, Producers and Documentarians, Fast Track and the Grants Program, and administers the diversity program Project Involve. He serves as the liaison for filmmakers in the programs and maintains alumni relationships. “We found ourselves uniquely inspired by Sean and Josh’s complimentary talents, their complete dedication, and their combined potential to strengthen Film Independent’s existing programs while developing new initiatives to serve filmmakers’ needs,” said search committee co-chair and board member Alan Poul. “It became clear to the Search Committee that creating a shared leadership position was the best possible way to expand the organization’s reach and carry it into the future.” The indie film organization puts on more than 250 events a year, including such high-profile ones as the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival as well as the Film Independent at LACMA Film Series.
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