Film Independent Elects Brenda Robinson As New Board Chair

Brenda Robinson, an entertainment attorney, producer and partner at film financing and development company Gamechanger Films, has been elected the new chair of the board of directors at Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization behind the Spirit Awards.

She takes over for Mary Sweeney, who served as chairman for the past nine years as part of a two-decade-plus run on the board. The nonprofit also said Wednesday that it has appointed three new board members: Searchlight Pictures president Matthew Greenfield; Transparent producer-director Rhys Ernst; and Edward Rada, a nonprofit financial executive who joins the executive committee as treasurer.

“We are thrilled to have Brenda Robinson as the new Chair of Film Independent’s Board of Directors,” Film Independent president Josh Welsh said. “With her unparalleled passion and advocacy for the arts and artists, Brenda is uniquely qualified to help lead Film Independent. And I’d also like to extend a heartfelt welcome to our three new Board members. We are so thankful and appreciative for Mary’s incredible leadership during her tenure.”

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Robinson, also a member of film-financing collective Impact Partners, was a financier on the Oscar-winning documentary Icarus among other projects. Her executive producer credits include Rebecca Hall’s Passing, United Skates and upcoming The Empire of Ebony directed by Lisa Cortés. She previously was Film Independent’s vice chair, and also has roles including serving on the board of The Representation Project founded by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, an advisor to The Redford Center and is board chair of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. She is also a member of the Recording Academy and the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

“Film Independent has been at the forefront of supporting and amplifying independent visual storytelling for over 30 years. As a Board member and Arts Circle member, I have seen firsthand its passion and commitment to the arts and entertainment community and I am excited and honored to lead the organization forward in its continued mission,” Robinson said.

Said Sweeney: “It has been an honor to serve as Film Independent’s Chair these past nine years and beyond. I’ve witnessed first-hand Brenda’s leadership and dedication to Film Independent’s mission to support creative independence and diversity. I pass the baton to her confident that she will be an outstanding leader of the Board, as Film Independent moves into a new, hybrid future.”

Film Independent, which is prepping for the Spirit Awards on March 6, now has a board comprised of Len Amato, Randy Barbato, Adriene Bowles, Mathew Cullen, Vondie Curtis Hall, Eric d’Arbeloff, Ernst, Javier Fuentes-León, Brenda Gilbert,  Greenfield, Michael Helfant, Laura Kim, Sue Kroll, Karyn Kusama, Kasi Lemmons, David Linde, Mynette Louie, Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Ted Mundorff, Gail Mutrux, Sue Naegle, Col Needham, Catherine Park, Rada, Alan Poul, Robinson, Andrea Sperling and Cathy Schulman.

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