After suffering a series of strokes while attending the Sundance Film Festival, the legendary independent film advocate Bingham Ray passed away in Provo, Utah, on Monday. The festival announced the death of the 58-year-old, adding that "Bingham’s many contributions to this community and business are indelible, and his legacy will not be soon forgotten."
As the executive director of the San Francisco Film Society (SFFS) and co-founder of October films, Ray helped build independent film into a global phenomenon. The many films he helped produce, promote or distribute include Lost Highway, Secrets & Lies, The Celebration and Death at a Funeral."We at the Film Society and the entire film community have lost far too early an energetic and visionary impact player who has helped shape the independent film industry for decades in so many important and valuable ways," said SFFS board president Pat McBaine of her colleague's death. "He shall be dearly missed."