What Really Caused the Shakeup at the Denver Film Society?

June 5 2009, 10:57 AM

"A dramatic mass exodus is underway" at the Denver Film Society, reports indieWIRE. Names that have long been associated with the group are walking away. Goodbye, associate director Britta Erickson and director of programming Brit Withey. Bon voyage esteemed co-founder Ron Henderson, along with a long list of other mutineers at Colorado's premier film institution, known widely for the annual Starz Denver International Film Festival. In all, The Denver Post writes, 21 staffers have quit (that's more than appear on the society's Contact Us webpage). Executive director Bo Smith claims the reason for the departures is "staff reductions." The society, Smith adds, is facing extreme fiscal pressures--a deficit of up to $150,000. Yet the Post also hints at a "faltering relationship" between Smith, hired in September, and the staff. Meanwhile, Henderson, in an e-mail to the Post, states, "My fervent hope is that the Denver Film Society, in this volatile transitional period, lives happily ever after."  Westword also points to a fallout between Smith and the staff, and wonders if the Post's coverage might be skewed: Nina Henderson-Moore, who "championed" Smith's hiring as a former DFS board chair, is married to Post editor Greg Moore. The shakeup clouded some good news for the local film biz: Governor Bill Ritter signed a bill yesterday that once again makes the Colorado Film Commission a state agency, renaming it the Colorado Office of Film, Television, and Media (via The Associated Press).

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