It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the passing of Randy Crumpton, treasured board member, fearless chairman of our Black Perspectives Committee, and dear friend. Randy brought his extraordinary passion for film and boundless enthusiasm to the Festival. He was the heart and soul of our Black Perspectives program, celebrating the tremendous talents of African American filmmakers and actors.
Randy was an invaluable contributor to Cinema/Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival for more than 20 years. He first joined the organization in 1999, when he became a member of the Black Perspectives Committee and of the Junior Board. In 2003, he took a leadership role as the Chairman of the Black Perspectives Committee, and in 2006 he “graduated” from the Junior Board to become a member of the Governing Board of Directors. He remained a member of the Governing Board through 2019, serving as Secretary from 2009-2012.
As Chairman of the Black Perspectives Committee, Randy was instrumental in the growth and success of the Black Perspectives Program. He was thoroughly involved in our tributes to a wealth of amazing talents from the legendary Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Charles Burnett, Melvin van Peebles, and Pam Grier to today’s most prominent directors including Steve McQueen, George Tillman, Jr., Lee Daniels, and Spike Lee to the brilliant acting talents Viola Davis, Alfre Woodard, and Forest Whitaker, among many others.
Randy had a profound love of film, attending countless screenings at our Festival each year. He regularly attended other festivals around the country, including the American Black Film Festival. In addition to his leadership roles, Randy served as an advisor to the Chicago International Film Festival, recommending films for programming consideration. Randy was a great champion of young African American filmmakers and actors, recognizing their talents early in their careers. Randy’s contributions to the Festival are immeasurable. As our collaborator and friend, he will be deeply missed.