Film Society Announces Opening of Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center

Posted by on 4.4.2011

 

FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER TO OPEN NEW STATE-OF-THE ART ELINOR BUNIN MUNROE FILM CENTER TO PUBLIC ON NEW YORK’S LINCOLN CENTER CAMPUS IN JUNE

Andrew Rossi’s PAGE ONE: INSIDE THE NEW YORK TIMES will be the Film Center’s Inaugural Film

New York, NY (April 5, 2011) – The Film Society of Lincoln Center, America’s pre-eminent New York-based non-profit film organization, announced today the June opening of its new landmark state-of-the-art Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, a multi-screen theater and cultural venue open to the public in the heart of Lincoln Center’s campus.  The Film Center's inaugural title will be Andrew Rossi’s PAGE ONE: INSIDE THE NEW YORK TIMES, an audience and critical favorite at the 2011 Sundance and SXSW Film Festivals, which will be released theatrically by Magnolia Pictures and play on both of the Film Center’s screens beginning June 17.  Additionally, The Film Society has announced the appointment of veteran film executive Bingham Ray as the Film Center’s first run strategy consultant.

The new Film Center, named after The Film Society board member, and award-winning filmmaker and designer Elinor Bunin Munroe, is part of the 16-acre Lincoln Center campus redevelopment and has been designed by David Rockwell and Rockwell Group who also collaborated with Diller Scofidio + Renfro on the exterior. The 17,500 square foot venue will house 2 theaters, an amphitheater and a café. The 150-seat Francesca Beale Theater and the intimate 90-seat Howard Gilman Theater will show new specialized film releases. The Gilman will also offer special programs. The 75-seat amphitheater, with a 152” Panasonic Plasma screen (the largest of its kind on public display in the country) will house lectures, panels and educational programs.

 “The Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center will be a major cultural destination in New York City, and a symbol of tremendous growth and expansion for the Film Society,” said Rose Kuo, Executive Director of The Film Society. “Our goal is to utilize the Film Center as a springboard into the future as we expand across multiple platforms – a process that has already begun with a total relaunch of our website – so that audiences can be a part of our community and connect with the Film Society at any time, from anywhere around the globe.”

For more than forty years, The Film Society (founded in 1969) has been introducing audiences to essential new cinema through screenings, film series and various festivals, most notably two world-class international events -- the New York Film Festival which celebrates its 50th Anniversary next year and New Directors/New Films, which just celebrated its 40th anniversary.  The new Film Center will allow The Film Society to extend its reach from the current facilities of the Walter Reade Theater in the following ways:

 *   The Film Center will be able to offer the public a complete cultural experience – the opportunity to see films; experience installations, emerging digital technologies and digital art which will be featured in the amphitheater; participate in lectures and panels; attend live presentations and performances, and midnight programs; visit a Wi-Fi equipped café open throughout the day from early morning breakfasts to late night snacks; and find a setting to gather together with friends and families or encounter other culturally minded visitors.

 *   The Film Center will be a space where The Film Society will explore new ways that filmmakers and other artists are using the moving image, particularly transmedia storytelling that embraces other platforms and formats, as well as projections, installations and exhibitions.

 *   The Film Center will partner with schools and educators for educational programs and special screenings for adults and children.

 *   The Film Center will be equipped with the latest internet technology to facilitate real-time participation and interaction at an international level, making it uniquely accessible in global terms.

“The Film Center is now at the forefront of a nationwide renaissance of the art-house experience.  As this past winter has shown, there is a huge audience for intelligent film fare and this audience wants to see films in theaters.  The fact that we can help provide a brand new state-of-the-art theater to New Yorkers and to everyone visiting this city is incredibly invigorating,” said Richard Peña, Program Director for The Film Society.  “Rose and I are thrilled to be able to launch the Film Center with Andrew Rossi’s fascinating film.  We also are happy to have Bingham’s vast experience and impeccable taste added to our dynamic team.”

Ray brings thirty years of executive experience in all aspects of the film business.  Until recently, Ray was President of Creative Affairs at Sidney Kimmel Entertainment (SKE), where he supervised all production and development activities.  Prior to SKE, Ray was President of United Artists (UA).  During his three year tenure at UA, the company released many highly acclaimed films, such as BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE, HOTEL RWANDA, and PIECES OF APRIL. Prior to UA, Ray co-founded October Films where he served as its Co-President until its sale to USA Networks in 1999. In addition to now working with The Film Society, Ray will continue to serve as a consultant with SnagFilms, the New York-based digital distribution company.

In the tradition of great fly-on-the-wall documentaries, Rossi’s riveting documentary PAGE ONE: INSIDE THE NEW YORK TIMES, deftly gains unprecedented access to the New York Times newsroom and the inner workings of the Media Desk.  With the Internet surpassing print as our main news source and newspapers all over the country going bankrupt, the film chronicles the transformation of the media industry at its time of greatest turmoil.

The Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, a collaboration between The Film Society and Lincoln Center, is a state-of-the-art, interactive media destination with acoustic and aesthetic elements.  David Rockwell and the Rockwell Group artfully turned existing, underutilized office space and a parking garage into a series of street-level spaces that will catch the eye of visitors with cinema-inspired design and the comforts of modern theaters.

The Film Society established a Capital Campaign to fund the construction project, which broke ground in 2007. The Capital Campaign has raised 90% of the $41 million construction costs with the generous support from the Film Society’s Board of Directors, Lincoln Center and other private supporters. The additional funds needed are currently being raised during the public phase of the Capital Campaign, which just launched with a seat naming initiative.  This public initiative will allow film lovers and cinephiles from around the world to be able to leave their permanent mark on the Film Center through the purchase of a seat or bench in one of the theaters or in the amphitheater.  Individuals can name seats for themselves, in honor of a loved one, or a friend or family member, in perpetuity.  For more information, go to: www.filmlinc.com<http://www.filmlinc.com/> .

The official opening of the Film Center on June 17 will be preceded by a multi-day launch celebration.  Details of events and activities are still being finalized.

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About Film Society of Lincoln Center

Under the leadership of Rose Kuo, Executive Director, and Richard Peña, Program Director, the Film Society of Lincoln Center offers the best in international, classic and cutting-edge independent cinema. The Film Society presents two film festivals that attract global attention: the New York Film Festival, now in its 49th year, and New Directors/New Films which since its founding in 1972 has been produced in collaboration with MoMA. The Film Society also publishes the award-winning Film Comment magazine, and for over three decades has given an annual award - now named "The Chaplin Award" - to a major figure in world cinema. Past recipients of this award include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Federico Fellini, Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.  The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from 42BELOW, American Airlines, The New York Times, Stella Artois, The National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts.

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