It was announced Friday that Andy Smith will step down as CEO of the Columbia Film Society, the organization which governs Nickelodeon Theatre and Indie Grits Labs.
Smith joined the staff of Nickelodeon Theatre — also known as The Nick — in 2007 and developed the Indie Grits Festival as a showcase for Southern independent filmmakers. Over the years, Indie Grits has grown into one of the premier cultural events in the Southeast and has become a much anticipated event in Columbia.
In 2011, Smith became executive director of The Nick during the capital campaign effort to move the theater to Main Street. The theater opened at 1607 Main in 2012 and completed an expansion of a second floor theater in 2015. Under his leadership, the Columbia Film Society grew with the creation of the Helen Hill Media Education Center and Indie Grits Labs and The Nick is recognized as “a leading voice in both the national media arts sector and in the local arts community.”
In a press release, Smith says, “When I began at the Nick 11 years ago, I couldn’t have imagined how this organization would grow. The board and staff of the Nick and Indie Grits have my full confidence, and I’m certain the future of the organization will be bright. I’m so honored to have had the opportunity to work with so many dedicated people to help get the organization and our city to where it is now.”
John Boyd, president of the board of directors of the Columbia Film Society, says, “Andy has developed and grown an incredibly talented and dedicated staff over the years. He’s done more to make The Nick what it is today than anyone, and as a result, the support for and awareness of the Nickelodeon and Indie Grits Labs is at an all time high. He’s irreplaceable, but we have a great staff and we will continue to fire on all cylinders.”
The society will announce more details on transition plans at a later date. Smith will leave the Nickelodeon within four to six months.