According to a statement sent by the San Francisco Film Society, their Executive Director, Bingham Ray, has died today.

Ray suffered two strokes this week while attending the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

According to the Chron, Ray had a mild stroke last Thursday and a second stroke Friday. He was hospitalized in a Provo, Utah hospital, where he died today.

“He shall be dearly missed. Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to Bingham’s family and his legions of friends and colleagues all over the world who loved and respected him,” said Pat McBaine, SFFS board president in a statement.

This year’s San Francisco International Film Festival, the 55th, would have been Ray’s first as director. He took the helm of the SFFS on November 7, 2011, succeeding Graham Leggat, who died in August after an 18-month long battle with cancer.

“When Bingham took the job, we were ecstatic,” said SFFS board co-vice president and film producer Jen Chaiken in a statement.

“It was an enormous vote of confidence for the organization that he was compelled to uproot his life to come run the Film Society. Bingham felt this job honored and tapped into the experience he’d garnered over the past 30 years. Bingham was one of those rare few who everyone knew on a first name only basis. He was one of a kind and will be deeply, deeply missed.”

Ray was co-founder of independent film company October Films and has held positions at United Artists and production company Sidney Kimmel Entertainment.

He is survived by his wife Nancy King, their children Nick, Annabel and Becca, and his sisters Susan Clair and Deb Pope.

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the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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