by Legendary Lew
Mike McNamara, Executive Director of The Midwest Independent Film Festival (MIFF), resigned today, less than a week before the organization’s upcoming fest in Chicago.
We reported here that MIFF had been at the center of sexual harassment allegations first expressed in a Facebook post by filmmaker Felix Piñeiro on October 22nd.
A few days ago, I had received an email with a statement signed by the festival regarding its investigation into this matter.
It’s important to note here that the post from MIFF, which is in its entirety below, does not mention those allegations.
I also want to note that, although I have personally heard from numerous sources implicating Mr. McNamara as the perpetrator, The Underground Multiplex has, as of yet, received no certifiable evidence tying Mr. McNamara to such allegations.
This is why we cannot and will not state unequivocally that he is directly connected to the sexual harassment charges.
That determination will have to be made by those more qualified to make any claims.
Today Mike McNamara stepped down as Executive Director of The Midwest Independent Film Festival. We wish him luck in his personal and professional endeavors. Effective immediately, The Midwest Independent Film Festival co-founder Mike Kwielford will serve as Interim Executive Director through the end of the 2017 season while we begin a formal search for a permanent successor.
“The Midwest Independent Film Festival’s mission has always been to celebrate and strengthen the Midwest filmmaking community,” Kwielford says. “Our patrons, supporters, and filmmakers can expect this mission to continue as we further grow the nation’s only film festival solely dedicated to the Midwest filmmaker.”
Since its inception in 2005, The Midwest Independent Film Festival has presented nearly 1,000 regionally produced independent full length and short films and served as a springboard for countless filmmakers and film industry professionals. We look forward to continuing this rich tradition under Mike Kwielford’s leadership.
You can view the original statement, posted on MIFF’s Facebook page, here.