August 29, 2011 · IGG

Graham Leggat, Executive Director of San Francisco Film Society (1960-2011)



The world is full of inspirational people, ones who lead, ignite new ideas, touch hearts and achieve so greatly that they leave behind an indelible mark.  Graham Leggat was one of these individuals.  The former Executive Director to the San Francisco Film Society, one of our partners, we regret to share with our IndieGoGo community that he passed this last weekend after an 18 month battle with cancer. 

Encapsulating what it means to truly make a difference to a whole industry, Leggat galvanized SFFS from a burgeoning platform to a pillar of succcess. In an email sent today from the organization, we’re reminded of his incredible contributions to their work:

“Leggat was appointed executive director of the Film Society on October 15, 2005. He immediately architected a strategic plan that enhanced the Film Society’s reputation with both filmmakers and audiences, and produced remarkable results. In the five years that he was executive director the staff grew from 11 to 35. The board of directors nearly doubled, from 12 to 22. The operating budget expanded from $2 million to $6 million and was balanced each year. Contributed income increased from $1 million to $3 million. Membership rose 98 percent, ticket sales rose 62 percent and receipts for Film Society Awards Night, the organization’s largest annual fundraising event, rose 42 percent. The San Francisco Film Society was transformed from a two-week-a-year film festival producer into a year-round cultural institution with an increasingly national impact, providing programs and services in three areas of activity: exhibition, education and filmmaker services. An article in the San Francisco Examiner in October 2010 noted that the Film Society “has made a transformation worthy of an adventure movie.”

As an online platform witnessing the rise of courageous campaigners who work with us everyday, continuously pushing the boundaries, it is with great sadness that we share this story.  We hope you will read more on this unique man and be equally inspired by his achievements as we are.  It is with no doubt that we continue to celebrate our partnership with the San Francisco Film Society and form alliances on all future collaborations in his honor.

NOTE – In lieu of flowers, donations in Leggat’s memory may be made to the San Francisco Film Society. Condolences should be sent to or c/o Jessica Anthony, SFFS, 39 Mesa Street, Suite 110, The Presidio, San Francisco, CA 94129.

A farewell letter that he wrote in July 2011 announcing his departure from the Film Society can be read at