January 14, 2013

Mary Sweeney Named Chairman of Film Independent

USC Cinema Professor Mary Sweeney, the current Dino and Martha De Laurentiis Endowed Professor who teaches in the Writing Division at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, has been elected to the position of sitting Chair of Film Independent. Sweeney, who teaches Graduate Writing Thesis and Dreams, The Brain and Storytellingat SCA, is known for her work on The Straight Story and the indie film Baraboo.

Mary Sweeney

“As an independent filmmaker, I welcome this opportunity to strengthen my commitment to the independent filmmaking community,” said Sweeney. “Film Independent has been at the heart of this community for over thirty years, and I’m excited to work with the Board of Directors, Josh [Welsh, Co-President of Film Independent], Sean [McManus, Co-President of Film Independent] and their dedicated staff to build on the great work already being done.”

Sweeney takes over the position from outgoing Chair, filmmaker Bill Condon, who has served as Chairman for the last three years.  On the Executive Committee, Sweeney joins current Vice Chair, writer/director Rodrigo García (Mother and Child, In Treatment), Secretary, director/producer Alan Poul (The Backup Plan, The Newsroom, Rome) and newly seated Treasurer, Landmark Theatres C.E.O. Ted Mundorff. Condon will remain on Film Independent’s Executive Committee as a member-at-large.

In April of last year, Sweeney was honored at the School of Cinematic Arts by being installed as the Dino and Martha De Laurentiis Endowed Professor.

“We could not be more thrilled to have Mary leading our board at this time,” said Welsh.  “She brings such a wealth of knowledge, energy and commitment to the organization and to independent film.”

“We are so thankful and appreciative for Bill’s incredible leadership during his tenure,” added McManus. “We know Mary is equally devoted to our mission and look forward to working with her to realize our vision.”

To read more about Sweeney’s teaching philosophy, please visit: http://cinema.usc.edu/news/article.cfm?id=11614