Film Society loses its leader

Graham Leggat (1960-2011)

Graham Leggat — the irrepressible Scottish impresario who led the San Francisco Film Society on to greater glory during the past six years — died tonight at his home after an 18-month battle with cancer.

Under Leggat, the Film Society made its annual San Francisco International Film Festival — the nation’s oldest — more important than ever and established its headquarters at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas in Japantown. The Film Society’s offices are nearby in the Presidio.

In 2010 Leggat rallied community support to transform the endangered Clay Theater on Fillmore Street into its year-round home. When that effort lagged, he struck a deal with the New People complex on Post Street to stage a year-round film festival in its state-of-the-art cinema. The Film Society’s programming at New People cinema begins September 1.

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