Ken Brecher will step down as executive director of the Sundance Institute after nearly 14 years in the job, effective April 30.
Institute chair of the board Wally Weisman said Brecher had led the body through ‘a period of significant growth, productivity and global impact’ during his tenure.
‘I have completed my work in building an outstanding leadership team,’ Brecher, who will assume the role of strategic advisor for the Institute for the next two years, said. ‘I could not be more confident that the Institute is now poised for the next phase of its innovative work in supporting independent artists.’
Brecher joined the Institute after Robert Redford recruited him in 1996 following a career in the arts in which he had served as a foundation president, museum director and theatre artistic director. The search for his replacement will commence shortly.
The move is the latest shake-up at Sundance. In March John Cooper wasappointed festival director in the wake of Geoff Gilmore’s departureafter 19 years to serve as Tribeca Enterprises’ chief creative officer.
Overseeing a $26m annual operating budget, Brecher’s primary responsibility had been the Institute’s core programmes. He played a key role in setting up the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Fund and broadened the remit of the Feature Film Programme to support film-makers in the Middle East.
He also restructured the Composers Lab and established the Sundance Institute Film Music Programme, transformed the Playwrights Retreat into the acclaimed Sundance Theatre Programme, and set up the Sundance Collection at UCLA, a vital archive of independent cinema.
He attracted major grants from The Ford Foundation, The Mellon Foundation, The Doris Duke Foundation, The Open Society Institute, The Annenberg Foundation and The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, among others.