Sundance’s director, Ken Brecher, departs |

Sundance’s director, Ken Brecher, departs

Greg Marshall, Of the Record staff

The Sundance Institute won’t formally begin its search to replace outgoing executive director Ken Brecher for a couple of weeks.

Wally Weisman, chairman of the board of the Sundance Institute, announced Brecher’s resignation late Thursday. Brecher works out of Los Angeles and shepherded the institute through a period of prosperity and growth.

Jill Miller, the managing director of the Sundance Film Festival, has served as Brecher’s second in command for nearly 20 years. Miller oversees many administrative aspects of the institute. She is responsible for overseeing budgeting, analysis of revenue, expenses and cash flow and heads Utah-based fundraising efforts. A native of the beehive state, Miller is well-known in Park City. She sits on the Utah Arts Council, among other community organizations, and handles much of Sundance’s day-to-day operation.

Brecher’s resignation goes into effect April 30. He will stay on staff for two years as a strategic advisor for the festival. Brecher has led Sundance for nearly 14 years and leaves behind an experienced staff, according to Institute representative Brooks Addicott. Michelle Satter, John Cooper, Philip Hemberg and, of course, Miller each bring more than 10 years of experience to Sundance in various jobs. "We’re so healthy it feels like a good time," Addicott said.

Brecher’s responsibilities as the director of the institute run the gamut. He oversees filmmaker labs as well as the festival, but his departure won’t put a damper on Sundance 2010, Addicott assured.

"Because program directors have been here so long, it will have very little impact day-to-day at the festival," she said.

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Brecher, in essence, agreed. In a statement, he said, "I could not be more confident that the Institute is now poised for the next phase of its innovative work in supporting independent artists."

Brecher departure comes less than two months after artistic director Geoffrey Gilmore resigned from Sundance. Gilmore is now the creative director of the Tribeca Film Festival.