Congratulations to Rose Kuo on being named the new executive director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center. She’s replacing Mara Manus, who stepped into the job only two years ago. So what happened with Manus? I”m not one to voice unwarranted suspicions, but people generally don’t give up prestigious high-paying gigs with the Film Society of Lincoln Center unless formidable forces have allied against them.
“[Manus] has been persona non grata over there for a long while,” a New York distribution source says. “She tried to relationship things in a positive way over the last six months, but I think it was too little, too late. It’s a little shocking that she left so soon, after only two years, but it’s not surprising that she’s left.”
“Mara Manus stewarded us through significant organizational changes during a difficult period for all non-profit organizations and we are grateful for her contributions,” said Ann Tenenbaum, chair of the FSLC’s board of directors, in a statement. That’s an allusion to Manus having discharged several long-time FSLC stalwarts when she first arrived in ’08, earning a rep as a tough hatchet lady.
But then the FSLC board wanted these firings to happen, so it’s not like Manus did this on her own. It’s suspected that some kind of blowback from Manus’s management style was a factor in her departure.
“The board hated her,” a well-placed source says. “Rose Kuo was the one [FSLC chief programmer] Richard Pena wanted when they hired Mara.”