Maybe you didn't know him well, but he was usually there. Often he was smiling. Arthur Mandelberger was a fixture on the festival circuit. Those in the film community knew him as “Sandy.” Most recently the editor-in-chief of Film Festival Today, Sandy Mandelberger passed away on August 29, 2012 after an ongoing battle with cancer. 

Sandy Mandelberger's absence is pronounced this week in particular as film industry, festival organizers, filmmakers and others in the film community gather in New York City. Mandelberger would been on hand for many press and industry screenings at the New York Film Festival and he certainly would have made the rounds at Independent Film Week. He was Associate Market Director for the IFP for two years in the 90s and also worked in distribution on both coasts.

Through his company, International Media Resources, Sandy Mandelberger was a tireless champion of festivals and indie films. He worked closely with numerous start-up festivals to help them get their feet on the ground. He seemed particularly fond of fests held in warm climates and was a regular at numerous Florida events. For ten years (1993 – 2003) he organized The Independents Showcase for distributors and filmmakers at film markets in Cannes, Berlin, Milan and Los Angeles, and his company also co-presented The London Screenings showcase in the United Kingdom.

In recent years Mandelberger wrote about films, filmmakers and fests for Fest21,, Cineuropa and other online publications. He also managed online dailies for numerous festival clients, including the Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Montreal, Troia, Martha’s Vineyard, Sarasota, San Sebastian and London film festivals

Born October 29, 1954, born in Brooklyn, New York, Sandy Mandelberger studied fim at the University of Buffalo and then earned a Masters Degree from NYU. He also produced documentaries. He lived in Connecticut and is survived by his partner of 37 years Richard Meinking, his mother Eta Mandelberger and sisters Fanny Mandelberger and Mirian Scharf.

The family has generously asked that donations be made in Sandy's name to the Film Society. Sandy will surely have a permanent seat here at Lincoln Center.

We invite Sandy's friends and colleagues to share their thoughts and memories in the comments field below.

For information about donating in honor of Sandy Mandelberger, please contact Rachel Denny at the Film Society. 

Sandy Mandelberger was interviewed about documentaries at the recent Silverdocs festival in Maryland: