L.A. Cinefamily to Close Down Following Sexual Harassment Allegations

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A Los Angeles Film Venue will be shutting down permanently following several sexual harassment and abuse allegations. Cinefamily, a well-known venue for independent film, will soon be no more.

It started when an anonymous e-mail was sent around to the media and members of the community in August, accusing top Cinefamily members of sexual abuse.

Co-founder and executive creative director, Hadrian Belove, and board of directors V.P., Shadie Elnashai, were accused of sexual abuse toward two separate women. Both men resigned directly after the scandal started to make waves on social media -- opening up the conversation to the public.

Belove claimed the allegations were false, calling them “demonstrable lies and half-truths,” according to Vanity Fair. Ellnashai, on the other hand, decided to stay silent.

Cinefamily originally planned to shut down temporarily to look into the claims and as a result of the investigation, will shut down entirely.

“The damage caused to the organization by the conduct of some and the crippling debt now facing The Cinefamily are, in the Board’s view, irreparable,” reads a statement from the board of directors, available on the Cinefamily official website.

“While the board recognizes the decision to close The Cinefamily will disappoint many of our loyal members, we feel strongly that we have made the right decision. This decision also comes amid the very necessary and overdue conversation about sexual assault and harassment in our industry.”

The board continued to note that the rape claim made in the e-mail has not been confirmed, but that the investigation “identified serious concerns, including breaches of acceptable behavior alleged to have happened at Cinefamily offices and events.”

The decision to shut down also follows an “exhaustive analysis of the organization’s current operational, reputational and financial status.”

As previously reported in the L.A. Times, the anonymous emails accused the members of taking part in sexual harassment, a toxic working environment and, most seriously, rape.

This year marked the 10th anniversary of Cinefamily on October 31st.

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