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Following scandal and investigation, Cinefamily to shut down permanently

This year should have been a celebratory one for the Cinefamily, marking the 10th anniversary of an organization founded in 2007 that had grown to become one of the best known spaces for repertory and independent film exhibition in the city.

Instead, in the wake of a scandal, the board of directors of the Cinefamily has decided to permanently shut down the organization and dissolve the board.

“The damage caused to the organization by the conduct of some and the crippling debt now facing The Cinefamily are, in the Board’s view, irreparable,” read a newly released statement from the board, citing an “exhaustive analysis of the organization’s current operational, reputational and financial status.”

“There was no reasonable way forward,” said Rory Miller, an attorney at the firm of Glaser Weil who has been consulting with the board and represented the organization before the recent controversy.

As previously reported in The Times, in late August anonymous emails accusing members of Cinefamily leadership of sexual harassment, a toxic working environment and, most seriously, rape, circulated online. Executive director and co-founder Hadrian Belove and board member Shadie Elnashai resigned on Aug. 22.

The loose, freewheeling atmosphere that made Cinefamily feel special for audiences had, according to many, also led to friction and an increasingly fraught environment for the mix of volunteers and paid staff. After the anonymous emails circulated, many stories emerged of a difficult workplace in which alleged harassment and mistreatment of staff, particularly female employees and volunteers, went unchecked due to the organization’s overall lack of structure and accountability.

As former employees and volunteers began airing their grievances online and in the media, the organization suspended operations on Aug. 26.

The Cinefamily board retained Giles Miller, a principal at the firm of Lynx Insights and Investigations, to conduct an investigation into the

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