Dec 20, 2018
Organization Also Announces Appointment of Elizabeth O’Malley as Managing Director, Who Joins Executive Director Noah Cowan to Help Lead Team Ahead of 2019 SFFILM Festival
San Francisco, CA – SFFILM‘s outgoing Board President David Winton and Executive Director Noah Cowan announced today two major additions to the organization’s leadership roster, with celebrated cultural leader Nion McEvoy moving to a new position as President of the Board of Directors, and Sundance Institute / Roxie Theater executive Elizabeth O’Malley joining as Managing Director, both effective in January. These champions of the national film and arts communities join an already robust team of leaders guiding the activities of the 62-year-old organization.
“This is an exciting time for SFFILM,” said McEvoy. “Not only are we the presenters of the longest-running film festival in the country, but under Noah Cowan’s visionary leadership, SFFILM is becoming a force in Bay Area film education, an important sponsor of independent features and documentaries, and a year-round presenter of smartly curated cinema. I look forward to continuing those efforts, and to working with Noah, his expert team, and the passionate board of SFFILM to raise the organization’s visibility and to bring all these efforts to new heights.”
“Nion is uniquely qualified to lead SFFILM,” said outgoing Board President David Winton. “He has deep roots in the film industry, and is a notable producer in his own right. He is also closely connected with the Bay Area’s filmmaking and creative community, and will ensure SFFILM continues to grow as one of the most dynamic cultural institutions in the country.” SFFILM will be welcoming Elizabeth O’Malley to its senior leadership team in time to help a rapidly expanding staff prepare for the 62nd San Francisco International Film Festival (April 10–23, 2019).
“I could not be more delighted to welcome these exceptional individuals deeper into the SFFILM family,” said SFFILM Executive Director Noah Cowan. “Nion has been a devoted Board member and generous supporter of projects like our 60th anniversary extravaganza The Green Fog while exhibiting extraordinary leadership locally and nationally on behalf of arts institutions large and small. Liz has done incredible work in bolstering our favorite community movie theater, the Roxie, after years of leadership roles with our friends and colleagues at the Sundance Institute. Both have a fierce commitment to the art and power of film. We’re very lucky to have Nion and Liz in the fold and I cannot wait to collaborate with them in building the future of SFFILM.”
“There is a palpable energy around film in the Bay Area right now that is very exciting to be a part of,” said O’Malley. “At the Roxie, it was fantastic to work side-by-side with SFFILM to harness that enthusiasm and create collective impact. I am thrilled to be now joining SFFILM’s exceptional team and look forward to working with local film artists, audiences, and organizations—including the Roxie—to continue strengthening our vibrant film community.”
“Elizabeth O’Malley has been a dynamic leader for the Roxie and an integral part of our recent success,” said Diana Fuller, Board President for the Roxie Theater. “With Elizabeth at SFFILM and Lex Sloan leading the future of the Roxie, we are incredibly excited for the future of film in the Bay Area.”
Nion McEvoy is the Chairman and CEO of Chronicle Books, a San Francisco based publisher known for its excellence in design and the popular appeal of book, gift, and stationery offerings. Chronicle Books has published such best-sellers as The Beatles Anthology, Ottolenghi’s Plenty, and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo. McEvoy worked previously in the business affairs departments of the William Morris Agency in Beverly Hills and of Wescom Productions. He is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and of UC Hastings College of the Law. McEvoy is former Chairman of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s (SAAM) Board of Commissioners and serves on the boards of SFMOMA, Aperture, McSweeney‘s, and the UCSF Foundation. Through Petaluma Projects, LLC, he has been involved with the films Chasing Coral, Dark Money, and Won’t You Be My Neighbor?. He is also founder of the McEvoy Foundation for the Arts (MFA), a non-profit arts exhibition space in San Francisco, and a drummer in the elusive rock band Rough Draft.
Elizabeth O’Malley brings to SFFILM a decade long career in arts administration, having worked for such iconic cultural institutions as Sundance Institute, Skirball Cultural Center, and Laguna Playhouse. Through her most recent position as Executive Director of San Francisco’s Roxie Theater, O’Malley led the non-profit cinema’s efforts towards sustained organizational health and maximized community funding for the presentation of bold cinema in the Bay Area. Her most notable accomplishments include securing the Roxie’s first ever long-term lease, increasing contributed revenue by 50% and organizational assets by 70%, and activating two essential capital projects to improve the Roxie cinema experience. O’Malley holds an MPA from UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy and remains an active member of the local arts policy community. Her graduate work surveyed creative placemaking practices to inform the creation of an equitable arts and culture district program in the City of Oakland. In 2018, O’Malley was an SF/Bay Area Emerging Arts Professionals Fellow and a California Arts and Culture Delegate at PolicyLink’s Equity Summit.
SFFILM champions the world’s finest films and filmmakers through programs anchored in (and inspired by) the spirit and values of the San Francisco Bay Area. Building on a legacy of more than 60 years of bringing the best in world cinema to the Bay Area, SFFILM is a national leader in exhibition, education, and filmmaker services. The longest-running film festival in the Americas, the SFFILM Festival (April 10-23, 2019) is an extraordinary showcase of cinematic discovery, a major cultural event in the Bay Area, and a necessary stop on the international festival circuit. The annual lineup features marquee premieres, international competitions, new media work, live performances, and scintillating artist talks. SFFILM Presents a robust slate of public programs throughout the year, including red carpet premiere events, advance member screenings, and in-depth film series. With diverse offerings and a commitment to excellence in world cinema, SFFILM is the leading year-round home of great film events in the Bay Area. SFFILM Makers provides significant financial and creative resources to independent filmmakers through a variety of grants, fellowships, residencies, and advisory services. Since 2009, the organization’s various artist development programs have distributed over $6 million to more than 150 film projects in various stages of production. SFFILM Education reaches more than 12,000 students and teachers annually. Its innovative learning programs help students from kindergarten through college develop media literacy skills, cross-cultural awareness, and a lifelong appreciation of movies.
For more information visit sffilm.org.