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R.I.P. Lewis Tice

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by Peter Knegt
April 2, 2014 10:46 AM
22 Comments
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The film community lost a friend yesterday with the sudden passing of the beloved Lewis Tice, a longtime champion of queer cinema who was sadly, only 44 years old at the time of his death.

Tice passionately worked in various capacities within the industry throughout his career.  He launched and guided many films to success including  ‘Latter Days,’ ‘Another Gay Movie’ and ‘Mysterious Skin’ for TLA Releasing, where he worked as Vice President of North American Operations at the time of his death.

"Lewis has been my closest colleague for over 10 years. He was there for most of my firsts in the film business, protecting me from the sharks and introducing me to the people he knew…which was everyone. It is a devastating loss to me personally, to LGBT cinema and to all the filmmakers that relied on his kind soul and glorious laugh to get them through. This most sweet and talented man will be missed by all who had the good fortune to know and work with him," said TLA Entertainment Group CEO Derek Curl.

Lewis also worked at over 20 film festivals including Sundance, the Chicago International Film Festival and Frameline. He served as a film programmer at the Philadelphia International Film Festival and QFest Philadelphia, and also produced several feature films including, 'BearCity,' 'Longhorns' and 'Blood for Irina.'

His death came as incredibly upsetting news to anyone lucky enough to meet or work with him. Please feel free to share your favorite memories of Lewis in the comments section.

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22 Comments

  • Chris Wilson | April 4, 2014 12:02 PMReply

    WOW! This is such sad news.
    I remember Lewis from St. Mary's College. We worked together in several stage productions. He alway knew how to make people laugh. We would drive around and sing show tunes and just laugh and laugh at how awful we sounded. He would come up to Vallejo and visit my partner and I and stay the week end.
    You will be missed by many.
    Thanks for being my friend.
    Chris Wilson

  • John Scagliotti | April 3, 2014 1:05 PMReply

    We are so sad to hear about Lewis's death. He was instrumental in helping me get our Vermont Bear Film Festival off the ground 10 years ago. We have lost a true friend to the LGBT film world. We will do a tribute to him at our 10th anniversary festival this summer in Vermont.

  • Trinity | April 2, 2014 11:48 PMReply

    Lewis had the knack for putting the biggest and brightest smile on my face each and every time I would see his shining face over the years. A beautiful and generous person, he will be deeply missed.

  • Andrew Rodgers | April 2, 2014 10:19 PMReply

    Please please let this be a bad April Fool's joke a day late. This can't be true... it just can't. This news is just devastating. I worked for Lewis at Sundance... where he introduced me to the world of film PR (as well as to obscure Japanese cinema, the joys of ethnic grocery stores and window shopping for women's clothes that might just work on us in some fun way). We spent a lot of time together then... and he helped fill a chapter of my life with a lot of laughter -- I'll never forget his laugh, that imp-ish, joy-filled chuckle that's unlike anyone else's. Lewis is the one who showed me the way in the Festival world... taught me everything he could... and guided me to take over his job at the Chicago International Film Festival. To say that I wouldn't be where I am now without him is a major understatement. Lewis Tice was a phenomenally generous human being... and the world -- and our little industry's corner of it -- is going to suffer from his absence. Lewis... you won't ever be forgotten.

  • Jain Moralee | April 2, 2014 7:48 PMReply

    i worked with Lewis over email from the mardi gras film festival office in sydney, australia. he was always delightful, funny and incredibly generous with his knowledge of LGBT cinema - a very warm tone on the end of the phone! what a contribution he made to the industry and community. this is very sad news indeed - sending thoughts to his friends, family and colleagues.

  • Josh Sparber | April 2, 2014 6:46 PMReply

    How sad. Lewis used to send me the kindest notes and emails along with films for review when I worked as an editor at POZ Magazine. Over the years, we forged a really lovely virtual friendship. RIP.

  • Jane | April 2, 2014 5:22 PMReply

    There is a cycle to indie film - a cycle of festivals and events that are as reliable as the sun rising. And being part of that cycle meant you would always have the pleasure of Lewis' company at some point, even if you lived on different coasts. He was gentle and kind, always with a smile. It is a sad reminder of how fleeting and unpredictable life is.

  • Nakia & Robert | April 2, 2014 5:09 PMReply

    Lewis was a true gem of a human who always made us smile and didn't take shit off anyone. We loved him and he will be missed.

  • Lela | April 2, 2014 4:50 PMReply

    One of the kindest souls in this business. Saddened and his family & friends are in my thoughts.

  • Bob | April 2, 2014 4:41 PMReply

    Jane and I were both surprised and saddened to hear that Lewis had died. So unexpected and far too young. He was always very kind, gracious and helpful to us, and he will be sorely missed by the film community.

  • Allen Han | April 2, 2014 4:27 PMReply

    I never met Lewis, but I had the pleasure of knowing some of the colleagues he had, many are my mentors when I first got into film. Many of them have expressed their love for him, he must of been a really great person.

    I'm a publicist by trade as well like Lewis, I wish I had the opportunity to learn from him.

  • Matthew | April 2, 2014 4:24 PMReply

    A friend introduced me to him last week and we met on Friday. He was a great guy and such an asset and advocate for queer cinema. He will be missed by many. I'm just grateful I met him, even once.

  • Leo | April 2, 2014 3:56 PMReply

    A very wickedly funny and sweet guy he was.

    I'm sorry not to be able to share secrets with you any more, Lewis.

  • Karl | April 2, 2014 3:20 PMReply

    I worked with Lewis for many years at Sundance, Frameline, SF International and Tribeca. He was such a kind, sweet, funny, GREAT person. This is a real loss. Thank You so much for all the laughs Lewis, it's comforting to know how many other people were able to experience you're greatness.

  • Hugh | April 2, 2014 3:05 PMReply

    Lewis was one of the absolutely nicest people I've ever worked with, always passionate the film project at hand while realistic and smart as well. I'm very sad to hear of his passing.

  • Tom | April 2, 2014 2:54 PMReply

    This is such shocking news. Lewis was one of the nicest people I have ever dealt with. I worked many Philadelphia Film Festivals with him and he always made the time enjoyable. He will be sorely missed by the Philadelphia Film community and the whole LGBT community.

  • Marja-Lewis | April 2, 2014 2:50 PMReply

    Met him and Malcolm Ingram while they were on the circuit. They changed everything for me. Big loss.

  • Susan Gerhard | April 2, 2014 2:05 PMReply

    Lewis was so kind, sweet, funny, smart and always very real. I will miss him. Such a loss.

  • Les | April 2, 2014 2:05 PMReply

    As Lewis' upstairs neighbor (at "The TLA House" on 3rd St. - we gave Maupin's '28 Barbary Lane' a run for its money), co-worker, and friend for the past decade, I'll carry many vividly indelible memories of this exceptional being with me for life. My most fond will be those gained while traversing the country marketing at pride events in towns large and small. His indefatigable energy and brilliantly engaging wit kept us entertained at all times, and were often the only things that made those long, hot days bearable. The GLBT and independent film world, in particular, has lost a scintillant spirit, and much-valued (and needed) advocate.

  • Annette | April 2, 2014 1:38 PMReply

    We were so lucky to have him with us in Indianapolis, even if only for a little while. So sad. Thank you for writing this.

  • Abraham Phillips | April 2, 2014 1:11 PMReply

    I am shocked and numbed by his passing. We communicated often. He sent many films to my movie review site abucketofcorn to review. He was a wonderful soul and gifted loving man. I truly will miss his emails and his love for cinema. Tragic to be writing this.

  • Glenn Gaylord | April 2, 2014 12:25 PMReply

    As a filmmaker, Lewis was one of the most supportive friends to the indie scene. I had the pleasure of knowing him since 1999 after my first short landed. Over the years, he was ALWAYS at a screening of mine, whether in San Francisco, Philadelphia or elsewhere...even if he had already screened the film as a programmer, he would like to show up and see it with an audience. We shared this love of the communal feeling of sitting in a theatre with people and experiencing stories. I loved hanging out with him, because his enthusiasm for film, for life, for making you laugh just by opening his mouth in his signature surprised expression....it all added up to pure joy. I am so saddened by his sudden passing. The indie film community has lost a champion and the world has lost a mensch. RIP Lewis.

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