The surprise resignation of Brian Gordon Tuesday as artistic director of the Nashville Film Festival has the city's film community—and even some festival volunteers—scratching their heads. It was just last month that the city's 39-year-old film fest smashed its old attendance records, posted an unusually high number of advance sell-outs, and got high marks from visiting filmmakers and audiences alike—which has been practically a yearly occurrence since Gordon came to the festival in 2001.
So what's going on? No one we reached last night either seems to know or wants to talk—except to say it involved a "salary restructuring" that evidently restructured Gordon away from the job. But it came as a shock even to some close NaFF associates.
"That doesn't make any sense," says one NaFF board member, who said the matter of Gordon's possible departure didn't come up at a NaFF board meeting last week. "That's really bad news."
This statement just arrived from Sallie Mayne, NaFF executive director: "As artistic director of the Nashville Film Festival, Brian Gordon contributed a wealth of knowledge about film history and the film industry. In addition, he provided a successful program of great films for the annual festival during his tenure. At this time, however, Brian has chosen to resign his position with the Nashville Film Festival. We wish him the best in all his future endeavors."