about ciné


Ruta Abolins
Mary Lillie Watson
Myung Chang Cogan 
Greg Barnard
Cassie Bryant
Brian Carney
Todd Kelly
Karen Kenyon
Mike Landers
Dave Marr
Carl Martin
Richard Neupert
Peter Smith
Susanne Warrenfeltz
Mark Weathersby

[ see bios below ]








Bringing the World to Athens One Film at a Time



Last night, we listened to the stories of a number of people who have felt discriminated against, marginalized, underrepresented, or unheard in their workplaces, including Ciné, in the Athens nonprofit and business community. Ciné takes its responsibility to enrich the quality of life for all people within the Athens community seriously. We are sincerely sorry and deeply troubled that the cinema we love has been experienced by some in our community as unwelcoming or non-inclusive. That is unacceptable to us and we are working to ensure that it is not the case.

As a nonprofit organization, Ciné celebrates the diversity of the Athens community in every facet of our work, providing film, arts and community engagement that enriches and inspires. Inclusivity is one of our foundational priorities. We recognize that our position in this community is one that demands we set an example of how to function as a business and a civic institution that prioritizes the values of diversity in our hiring and programming, and true equity in all aspects of our operation. We recognize that we need to hold ourselves to the highest possible standard.

We will be working with invested community members, including those who were present with their concerns last night, as we continue to evaluate our diversity standards and practices in the immediate future. In the meantime, we will continue with the community outreach and diversity initiatives that we have already begun and intend to pursue no matter what. We look forward to these incredibly important processes, and plan to release a comprehensive update including a specific timeline of our efforts as soon as possible.

We also want very much to improve the diversity of our board and personnel. We have been working to create a diversity advisory board dedicated to ensuring inclusivity and equity in our programming, as well as looking internally to create a space that feels welcoming, safe, and enriching to every facet of our community. We invite anyone who wishes to engage with the mission of Ciné, especially from the perspective of currently underrepresented members of the Athens community, to get in touch and talk about joining us in our ongoing efforts as well as crafting new ones.

The board and Ciné’s executive director remain committed to making Athens a better place through our championing of film, arts, and community programming that address and include all of its citizens in positive and sustainable ways. We are constantly growing and learning in our efforts, and if you have ideas about how we can do a better job, please let us hear from you. Without the participation of the community, Ciné's work would not be possible. We remain eager to listen to and learn from all people, and look forward to continuing our work in service of the Athens community.

Ciné is an extraordinary treasure that is unique to downtown Athens. The restored historic venue houses two cinemas, a full bar, and a versatile event space, and is the only independently operated, mission driven, non-profit, community-based art house movie theatre in the region. 

By providing film and arts that inspire, educate, and build community, Ciné enriches the quality of life in Athens, offering the unique opportunity to share the vitality of a community movie-going experience without the commercial distractions of the multiplex. Ciné plays a key role in the cultural landscape of downtown Athens, bringing people together to enjoy both the art of good cinema and the refreshment of a good drink. Ciné feeds the heart and mind by reliably providing thoughtful, challenging, inspirational, educational, and thought-provoking works to a loving community.

As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization—under the stewardship of THE ATHENS FILM ARTS INSTITUTE (AFAI), an all-volunteer Athens-based Board of Directors—Ciné reflects and celebrates the complex tapestry of the community we serve. AFAI ensures that Ciné can continue its unique and vital role in Athens’ cultural life, helping to make our town a better place to live, work, visit, and do business.

The Athens Film Arts Institute (AFAI) is a local non-profit organization created in 2009 with an educational mission that supports Ciné in its programming of exceptional films and other media. AFAI ensures that Ciné – with its location in a historic building downtown – can continue its unique and vital role in Athens’ cultural life as a community arts center.

AFAI assumed operations of Ciné on January 1, 2012. Our volunteer board consists of community members dedicated to maintaining the financial stability and expanding the educational mission of Ciné. AFAI received tax exempt 501(c)3 status from the IRS in 2011, which allows supporters the ability to make tax deductable contributions to ensure the viability of Athens’ independent movie theatre.

Maintaining the quality programming and community outreach you have come to expect from Ciné is expensive. Ciné is one of the few theaters in Georgia that screens films in 35mm and archival reel-to-reel prints.  Our operating costs are higher because we show films in their original format, and we sponsor many community events. Despite this, our ticket prices are actually less than the multiplexes.

AFAI’s work is made possible through your participation, and Ciné cannot continue to exist without your support. Your donations as a member, patron, or corporate patron will support Ciné in its new non-profit format, and your contributions to AFAI, which has 501(c)3 status, are tax-deductible. One more good reason among many to support Ciné!

More information on membership and patron donation options HERE

QUESTIONS? Contact us:


RUTA ABOLINS Ruta Abolins (President)
Ruta Abolins heads up the Brown Media Archive & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, the third largest broadcast archive in the country. She loves when Ciné is able to show film in 35mm, in particular classic Hollywood movies.
Mary Lillie Watson (Treasurer)
Mary Lillie Watson recently retired following a 32-year career in the financial industry with First American Bank and Trust, Edward Jones, and Morgan Stanley. An active member in the Classic City Rotary Club, the Apalachee Chapter of the DAR, the Oconee County Chamber of Commerce, the Watkinsville Garden Club, a sustaining member of the Junior League of Athens, and Olli, Mary also currently serves on the boards for the University Women’s Club at UGA, the Watkinsville First Christian Church and the Oconee County Arts Foundation.
MYUNG CHANG COGAN Myung Chang Cogan (Secretary)
Myung Cogan works for Synovus Financial and manages marketing for the North and Coastal Georgia and North Florida Region. In addition to serving on the AFAI board she is a member of the Board of Directors for the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia and is a past board chair. Married to a filmmaker she has a love for film arts and is dedicated to providing the community with a unique venue delivering extraordinary programming. 
Greg Barnard
Currently a consultant on community and constituent relations, marketing, branding and events, Greg was most recently senior vice president, Community Affairs, for Bank of America. He coordinated the bank's strategies for relationships with national nonprofit organizations, managing a $10 M funding portfolio, and managed the bank's presence and branding at national events and conferences. He chairs the Collectors of the Georgia Museum of Art, a group of Friends of the Museum who travel to see private collections and special exhibits. He loves film as an art form as well and wants to help Athens recognize the unique contribution of Cine to its cultural life.

Cassie Bryant
Cassie Bryant recently retired from operating an education research and evaluation firm she founded in Athens nearly two decades ago. She and a group of neighbors produce a popular outdoor film series each summer in the Pulaski Heights neighborhood. Living within a short walk of Ciné, she has witnessed up close the vibrancy that the theater introduced to a historically sleepy corner of downtown. She shares the deep commitment of other AFAI board members to secure the theater's future.

Brian Carney
A native of Atlanta, Brian Carney has practiced law in Athens since 1981 and has served on the Ciné Board for several years. He loves films from the romantic comedies of the '30's & '40's to the small films of John Sayles and the epics of David Lean. He loves Ciné because, the next film may become one of your all-time favorites.
Todd David Kelly
Originally from Miami, Florida, Todd moved to Athens in 1994 after living with family in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and has volunteered at Cine ever since it opened in 2007. Joining the board in 2013, Todd has been committed to creating various film festivals, memorable events, promotional campaigns and merchandise -- including the annual Fall Classic Horror series, Schlocktoberfest, and our city's first LGBTQ Film Festival, Spectrum -- to help encourage new friendships and to help promote our mission, and help the community become friendlier, happier and healthier through the cinematic magic that Cine provides. 
Karen Kenyon
Karen spent her career serving both the corporate and not-for-profit world. After graduating from Trinity College in Washington, D.C., she began a 20-year career at NBC Television, first in Washington, D.C., and then in New York City. During her not-for-profit phase, she served as chief of staff for the president of the Environmental Defense Fund in New York and worked closely with the president, staff, and Board of Directors. She was an active volunteer in New York and served as the regional recruiter for Trinity College, Friends of the Winston Churchill Memorial and Library, and the National Down Syndrome Society.
Mike Landers
Mike is a lifelong resident of Athens and a lifelong movie fan. While in college, he was a member of UGA’s University Union Cinematic Arts Committee and a projectionist for the movies at South PJ Auditorium. After the UGA Tate Student Center opened, Mike was hired to manage the Tate Theatre. Later, he managed the Alps Cinema when it was known as “the dollar movie,” a popular second-run movie theatre here in Athens. Mike is an artist and photographer who is active in the Athens arts community and has been a member of the Board of the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art since 2014.
Dave Marr is a musician and writer who has lived in Athens since 1991. A former film columnist and city editor at Flagpole magazine, he is now the communications director at UGA’s Willson Center for Humanities and Arts. 
Carl Martin
Carl Martin is an artist and designer. Trained at the School of Visual Arts in New York, he won a Guggenheim Fellowship for photography and has exhibited in California, New York, Florida and Georgia. His work is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, MOCA GA in Atlanta, the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta and numerous private collections. In 2012 and 2013 recent work of his was published in a four quarterly series called Free Fall by Fall Line Press and he is working on a book to be published with Fall Line Press in 2017. Carl, along with his wife Carl John, is one of the principles of D.O.C. Unlimited -a design-build firm based in Athens, Georgia, which was incorporated in 1993.

Richard Neupert
Richard Neupert teaches Film Studies at UGA where he is the Charles H. Wheatley Professor of the Arts. His latest book, JOHN LASSETER (2016), details the rise of Pixar's stories and styles and he also just did an interview track for the Criterion DVD of PARIS BELONGS TO US, which was shot at Ciné. 

Peter Smith
Peter is a partner in the law firm of Thompson Hine, where he heads the firm's Technology, Media & Telecommunications practice group, and provides mergers and acquisitions, general corporate, employment and intellectual property advice to companies engaged in the development and commercialization of proprietary technology and content, and the provision of services, within these and other industry sectors. Peter also possesses extensive experience in traditional media and entertainment and law matters. Peter was a partner in the law firm of Hogan Lovells, and a resident of Manhattan, before relocating to Athens along with his wife, textile designer Susan Hable Smith, and their two children.

Susanne Warrenfeltz
Dr. Susanne Warrenfeltz is a Scientific Outreach Specialist at the Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases in Athens GA. Dr. Warrenfeltz interacts with scientists around the world who use and provide data for the databases and she manages efforts concerning the user experience. Susanne joined Cine's board in May 2017 and enthusiastically supports Cine's cultural and educational mission.

  Mark Weathersby (photo and bio coming soon)