Aspen Film names interim director
Aspen Film has named Susan Wrubel as its interim executive director, the nonprofit announced Wednesday.
Wrubel, a film-industry executive based in New York City, takes the reins of the organization from Aspen Film board member Elexa Ruth, who had been in the interim role since May, when director John Thew was dismissed. Thew in May sued Aspen Film for wrongful termination and recently reached a settlement with the nonprofit, according to court documents. The terms of the settlement are confidential.
The leadership change comes in advance of the organization’s flagship Aspen Filmfest, running Oct. 3 to 8. It will be programmed by Jane Schottle, a program director of the Toronto International Film Festival, who selected films for Aspen Film’s Academy Screenings last year. The Filmfest lineup has not been announced.
Wrubel is expected to serve in the temporary role through the end of this year.
“I could not be more excited to be joining the team at Aspen Film and to make this the next chapter of my diverse career,” Wrubel said in a statement. “Aspen Film’s goals to enlighten, enrich, educate and entertain are several of the reasons I got into, and have stayed in, the film industry, as that is what film does for me. Aspen is an inspiring town with so much to offer on so many levels. I cannot wait to bring my passion for film and community to the Roaring Fork Valley.”
Wrubel began her career in art house and foreign-language distribution, then moved into film acquisitions at New Yorker Films, according to the announcement. She next became head of acquisitions and co-productions at Paramount Classics, overseeing both domestic and international projects. She eventually moved into development, sales and production as a consultant to several internationally focused companies.
After four years overseeing the panel and seminar program and working with the Encuentros co-production market for the annual Miami International Film Festival, Wrubel spent the next four years curating, and as an industry liaison for the Independent Feature Project’s No Borders international co-production market. She also produced the organization’s 2012 edition of the IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards. In addition, she has worked closely with the artistic director of the Rio International Film Festival, helping to bring American films to Rio de Janeiro. Most recently she has been an executive producer, sales representative and consultant on a number of U.S. and international independent film productions.
“Susan has a stellar reputation within the global film industry and a vast wealth of knowledge and experience in both film and nonprofit that make her an ideal fit for the position,” Aspen Film board Chairman Ryan Brooks said in the announcement. “We feel extremely lucky to have her and could not be more excited about the future of Aspen Film.”
Back in 2013, while working on a proposed box set of archival recordings, singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge came across a group of songs that had been recorded in the late 1980s but never released.
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