Sigh. San Francisco Film Society just announced that beloved Executive Director Bingham Ray died today, January 23, while attending the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. In addition to manning the noted SF Film Society, Ray cofounded October Films. October, billed as "one of the foremost independent film companies of the 1990s," snagged two Oscars and scored 13 Oscar nominations and other cinema prizes at the Cannes Film Festival. Some of October Films' credits include Secrets & Lies, The Apostle, Cookie's Fortune, The Celebration, Lost Highway, The Last Seduction, and Breaking the Waves.

"The board of directors and staff of the Film Society are stunned and deeply saddened by the untimely death of our executive director Bingham Ray. We at the Film Society and the entire film community have lost far too early an energetic and visionary impact player who has helped shape the independent film industry for decades in so many important and valuable ways," said Pat McBaine, SFFS board president. "He shall be dearly missed. Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to Bingham's family and his legions of friends and colleagues all over the world who loved and respected him."

Ray was hospitalized over the weekend following a series of strokes. He is survived by his wife Nancy, and their children Nick, Annabel and Becca. He was 57.