CFS Elects New Board President | Begins Search For New Executive Director

Columbia Film Society elects new board president, launches search for Executive Director.

The Columbia Film Society’s Board of Directors elected South Carolina ETV executive Xavier Blake as President of the Board. In addition, it announced the launch of a national search for a new Executive Director at a meeting on Thursday, Aug. 5.

Blake is Assistant Production and Operations Manager at SCETV and has served as a CFS Board member since 2018. “I’m honored to be chosen for this role and look forward to building on CFS’s success. Like most American institutions, CFS has recently faced challenges created by Covid-19 and a reckoning with systemic racism. Spaces like the Nickelodeon that foster togetherness and critical conversations have never been more urgent.

We look forward to ensuring that film and arts education remains an essential part of our city’s cultural fabric as we continue to cultivate that space for courageous conversations.” Blake said.

In addition to Blake, the Board selected the following members for leadership positions as part of its Executive Committee:

  • Mark Cooper, Vice President
  • Francie Kleckley, Treasurer
  • Aleksandra Chauhan, Secretary

Hank Jibaja will remain on the Executive Committee in the role of Immediate Past President of the Board. “Other professional obligations prevent me from continuing as President, but I’m excited to continue serving as a member of the CFS Board and contributing to our mission,” Jibaja said.

Also, on Thursday, the Board formed a search committee to identify a new Executive Director to replace Anita Floyd, who announced her departure earlier this week. With guidance from the Board, the Executive Director oversees both the Nickelodeon Theatre and Indie Grits, including an annual arts festival and media education programming.
“The Board is grateful for Anita’s work in guiding the organization through extremely challenging times, and thanks to the continued dedication of our entire team, the future looks very bright,” Blake said. “We’re confident that we can attract national candidates who are inspired by our mission to entertain, educate and prompt the kind of critical dialogue that enriches our diverse community.”

Cooper will lead the search committee and will appoint an interim executive director soon.

Located in the heart of downtown Columbia, the Nickelodeon Theatre—or “The Nick”—features a mix of first-run independent films, curated series, and special community screenings. It draws more than 70,000 visitors to its Main Street location each year. The Indie Grits Festival earned national accolades and was named one of the “25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World” by Moviemaker Magazine.

About Columbia Film Society

Founded in 1979, the Columbia Film Society (CFS) serves Columbia, SC, as a center for critical dialogue, anchored by the presentation of films that showcase its community’s diversity, challenges, joy, and aspirations. A destination for enjoyment, enrichment, and education, CFS provides the tools to make, interpret, appreciate, and teach the moving image in all its variety through its two arms: the Nickelodeon Theatre (the Nick) and Indie Grits Labs (IGL).