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Cinefamily Accountability
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Cinefamily Board President Simon Ore Breaks Silence

Other than a few public statements, the Cinefamily board has maintained a public silence since August 2017.  Former Cinefamily Board President Simon Oré has broken that silence, telling CinefamilyAccountability (CA) that he was not aware at the time but now understands that Cinefamily was “a harsh and abusive environment” to staff and volunteers, and that he was kept in the dark on a variety of issues: “There was an extreme amount of misappropriating funds and or misinformation delivered to the board that I only truly found out about after the fall of the theater.” 

Oré reports that when the scandal broke in August 2017, his desire for transparency led to his ouster: “When I wanted to speak to the press, the board asked me to leave (as I wouldn’t be speaking for the board).”

In speaking about former staff and volunteers, many of whom are his friends, Oré comments on “how appalled and sorry I am for the way they were mistreated and marginalized.”

CA has reached out to all former Cinefamily board members.  Thus far only Oré has provided substantive comment.  In late 2017 CA exchanged several emails with Shadie Elnashai, who indicated a willingness to answer questions.  In his most recent email (December 11, 2017), Elnashai wrote: “Just so you know, I haven't forgotten about you… I have to carefully consider how I respond, as it would affect some of the my next steps that I am currently working on. I will respond to a lot of this in due course, when I have a little more clarity. Which actually shouldn't be too far away. I hope this doesn't read as a cop out, because it is not intended to be.”  

The following have not replied to a request for comment: Michael Bacall, Albert Berger, Louis Black, Liesl Copland, James Andrew Fino, Dan Harkham, Phil Hoelting, Ted Hope, Phil Lord, Katharine O’Brien, Alia Penner, Amy Poncher, Brad Simpson, Bec Smith, Melissa Volpert, and John Wyatt.

 

See other developments related to  the planned reopening
                Distributors & Patrons Balk at Fairfax
                Cinefamily Assets
                Government Investigation
                Cinefamily/Fairfax's Hensley Attacks, Tries to Silence Watchdog