Dim the lights: sad news for local film fans

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It's been a sad few weeks for the local film community. First came the news that film critic Rossiter Drake — who wrote for the SF Examiner and 7x7 among other publications, and was a fellow member of the San Francisco Film Critics Circle — passed away in his Alameda home. He was only 34. SFFCC peer Omar Moore wrote a moving tribute to Drake, touching on not just his love of movies (and Boston sports teams), but also what a good-hearted person he was. Check out Drake's top ten films of 2011, topped by War Horse, here.

Today, even more tragic news, with the announcement that the newly-appointed San Francisco Film Society Executive Director Bingham Ray died following a stroke he suffered while attending the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. (Read his impressive bio as part of SFFS' official press release here.) Only on the job since November, Ray came to San Francisco after the previous Executive Director, Graham Leggat, died after a battle with cancer in August.

As the 55th San Francisco International Film Festival approaches (opening night is April 19), SFFS year-round programming continues at the SF Film Society Cinema in Japantown, and Hollywood ramps up its annual Oscar frenzy, the show goes on — but short a pair of passionate film fans, who turned their love of movies into their respective careers, and will be missed.

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