We’ve all been touched by Ann in many and varied ways; whether as a friend, colleague in the arts or as a mentor . Already a legend, when I asked her “what would I have to do to get you involved in the fledgling MVFF, her reply “ you just did it ” For decades she brought the same passion & creativity to CFI as she had already given to theater, film, writers and everything else she touched. A lasting and profound legacy that will continue to serve artists of all kind ; a light for women that you can find a path no matter where it may lead . And myriad lasting gifts ( including the CBS Film Center ) to her beloved community of northern California that she chose to make her home . Ann Brebner was one of a kind . She left this physical world a better place, and we will miss you dearly . And, I for one, will ever forget her.
– Mark Fishkin

Ann’s was a rare and beautiful person, combining elegance and graciousness with vision, energy, and pursuit. She was both a wonder and a force of nature, and it was a pleasure to know her.
– Peter Flaxman

I first met Ann at her agency (Brebner Agency) in the city, on Polk Street when I first moved her, age 22 from Aspen, CO. I wanted to do some modeling/acting and she was the only game in town (for the most part.) This was 1973. She looked much like she looked in later years, except a little younger. Hair swept back in a french twist, elegant, poised and no- nonsense! She looked at me, wasn’t especially encouraging but agreed we should “give it a try” and to go get head shots. I did a couple jobs but then went on to study dance instead (my real love.) I didn’t see her again until 1985 at her house during a board meeting or some event for which I’d volunteered. I was never sure if she liked me but I knew being in her presence was special. She was a force throughout her whole life.
– Stephanie Clark

I love that she always told people that when I was a baby, she and my mom used to carry me around in a banana box.
– Julie Dodd Tetzlaff

I have some cherished memories with Ann.
– Max Gail

Ann was always a patient and gracious person to interact with.
– JoAnn Hastings

My agent and mentor and inspiration from the age of 16 And through the years became my close dear Personal friend who continued to challenge me And inspire me in my creativity….. I will cherish the lunches at your home…. Around that beautiful round Oak table…. Talking about everything….. I will always miss Ann…. I loved her and we never were able to finish the things we had planned to do together…. We talked about doing a documentary on her…. She said … you better hurry… Because I want to direct it!…… So much like Ann….. Wish we had done this! Ann….. you live in my heart forever. Love, Buffy
– Buffy Stewart

I first heard about the Rafael restoration project from Ann over lunch. After joining the CFI Board, it was quickly apparent to me that she was and would be the driving force to get it completed. Every time I go to the Rafael, I can’t help but think of Ann and her wonderful, visionary and caring approach to the restoration. Ann had a favorite spot to sit when she attended a screening and so did we, right in front of her. When we now go to screenings or to see a movie, we still feel her presence and always will.
– Robert Griswold

I will be with you all in spirit, but I am terrible with memorials. I would be a basket case. There are only two people besides my parents I have mourned so much for and Ann is one of those.
– John Morrison

So many! I loved Ann, like so many of us! It was a joy to be her dramaturg and director for “Hard Laughter” – we had a wonderful time together, along with her co-writer Laurel Graver.
– Jayne Wenger

I saw this statement sometime ago, and it certainly describes you; “Live so that when you are gone, it will have mattered.”
– Love—-Henry (Hank) Timnick

Ann and I finally worked together after many years of knowing each other professionally when she directed me in “Goodnight, Texas” in 1991. We both later said of that experience, that we fell in love with each other. And our friendship flourished from that point on…
– Anni Long

I remember Ann’s physical beauty and great visual style: always in black – perhaps a glittery black shawl, showing off her snow-white hair.
– Betsy Rosen

I have had the privilege of being Ann’s accountant and tax advisor for most of her business career, and have watched with gratitude as she impacted people’s lives, invariably for the better. My one regrettable incident with Ann was when my dog bit her – thankfully, she was as you would expect profoundly gracious.
– Christian Frederiksen

All the memories of my exciting childhood and early adulthood in theatre and television include Ann. She was mentor, director, coach, agent, inspiration and friend. I feel so fortunate that my life path crossed with hers. God Speed, Annie!
– Pippa White

Marin has lost one of the most tenacious and effective advocates for the Arts and a beautiful and gracious ( though sometimes intimidating) human being. The likes of her will not be seen again!
– Grace Hughes

I’ll always remember staying with Ann and family in Sausalito in 1967 when the rest of my family went to Hawaii. I stayed behind to work at the Shakespeare Festival. Turned out that one of the boys and I as well as the family dog all shared the same birthday, and Ann’s birthday was the next day.
– John Cumming


Ann was one of the most remarkable people I’ve ever known. I’ll always treasure her intelligence, wit and insights, and I was honored to call her my friend. xo
– Rita Cahill


The. Best. Role. Model. EVER!
– Zoë Elton

Ann was a good friend who understood the creative process. We shall miss her support, and the music, poetry, prose and film discussions that we shared over the course of the last 44 years.
– Amy and Joel Levine

She was always the most elegant woman and a pleasure to work with.
– KC Lauck

I first met Ann when I was in grammar school and she came to Dominican to be our drama teacher. We absolutely loved her. She became my friend and never ever treated me as being younger. It was always on equal footing. That is a gift. Through the years it has been such a pleasure to sit with her and a cup of tea and talk about our activities and life events present, past, and future. She was a great example all my life and I can only be so grateful for her friendship. After she died, I asked her to help me with my espresso machine. Where did that thought come from! I’ve had the machine for a number of months and just hadn’t been able to get the froth action to work. At that moment, it started frothing away and it has worked since. I can only say this happened.
– Kristin Delaplane

Ann was an amazing woman – I knew her by reputation since I grew up in San Francisco – she was an icon. She was so graceful, accomplished, warm and genuine.
– Maureen Galliani

I have known Ann since 1974. Sandy is my long time close friend. Mann was my mother in art. She was right next to e when I founded porchlight Theatre Co. on the redwood stage ..the original site for the Marin Shakespeare Festival. She graced our 10 year tenure with Porchlight at the Marrin Art and Garden Center with magic, firm advocacy and love.
– Molly Noble

I first met Ann in the mid-60’s when I joined my aunt, uncle and cousins (who were Brebner family friends) working backstage at the Marin Shakespeare Festival. For me it was a happy respite from a home which had become a very sad place. I had always loved the theatre but this gave me an opportunity to be a part of it in a way I had never been. When my mother died, we moved to Marin and I attended San Domenico, where Ann cast me in the annual Christmas Tableaux. As small a gesture as this was, it gave me a confidence that I sorely needed in a place where I still felt out of place. I often saw Ann and John and their sons, Alexander and Jay, at family gatherings. Ann also began casting my father as an extra in “The Streets of San Francisco” and one evening the whole family found itself on a bus headed to SFO to be extras in “Bullitt” – where we talked to Steve McQueen between takes. Years later, after I had moved to New York, I remember running into Ann from time to time when she was directing there and I was now working in the professional theatre as an administrator. Upon reflection I now realize that theatre only became real to me that first summer backstage and that eventually it became my career – a career that put me in a place to meet my husband, an actor. So, Ann had a profound impact on my life that continues to this day. I will forever be grateful.
– Marsue MacNicol

Whenever I think of Ann I feel gratitude, love, respect and inspiration. I also invariably remember the following two lines from a Shakespeare quote she sent me many years ago: …”the bird of dawning singeth all night long…so hallowed and so gracious is that time”. She was my godmother –and bestowed the best gifts a godmother can give. Indelibly imprinting these words on my heart in the place where I remember her is her most intimate gift to me. Thank you Ann!
– Julia Knox

Ann is with me every time I teach, direct or act. She is my guiding star in staying real, authentic, simple and true in my work. She was a great support of my acting and I will be forever grateful for her belief in me. Her regal yet humble carriage was a great example to me of how one can walk through the world with incredible dignity and fire and also humanness. She was a queen and I will miss her terribly.
– Erica Smith

I only met Ann a few times, but am looking forward to honoring her memory & contributions to CFI, the Rafael and entire industry.
– Ken Broad

I was a late arrival in Ann’s life. As a founding member of Alter with Jeanette Harrison, myself and a few others. I got to know her apart from her many dynamic incarnations. She had a dignity and a way of listening that was both generous and unsettling at the same time. It taught me a great deal about the power of thoughtful silence. It’s a magic trick of sorts that gives all parties involved the time to reflect on where the truth of an issue lies. It’s was a rare gift that not everyone could or should aspire to, but damned helpful to have in a room. Often her silence was accompanied by a look that could only be identified as a knowing smile that might have within it an invitation to amend your last statement. In my last visit with her, in the fleeting moments of clarity we shared together, she gave me a few of those silent looks. As if to say, “isn’t this situation ridiculous…even untenable. I know I’m not fully here, but you needn’t feel you have to entertain me.” I’ll miss you my dear.
– Michael Ray Wisely

It was an honor to have known her – and to have called her a friend.
– Patty Garbarino

when i first came to the bay area in the 70’s, Ann was the only game in town. lots of tv & movies were also coming to town(unlike today). then she decided marin county should have a shakespeare company–then she decided that it should have a film festival and a re-built, gorgeous theater to show the movies in—then she signed on to a little store-front theater called alter-theatre(jeanette harrison)& decided, at the age of 80+ to start writing plays. i remember at a small fund-raising meeting in her back yard, she said that after 60 years of tapping people for dough; she just might be “all tapped out”. she was hard-ball, a softie, eloquent, surprisingly crude when necessary, always styling’ & gorgeous–she was, indeed, THE KIND!
– Robert Ernst

Anns story of Steve McQueen helping her buy her mustang is amoung the many classic stories I always think of , about one of the most fabulous ladies of all time . Who represents that incredible city and time to me forever . Thank you so much Ann ! For everything thing you are and everything you did for my family . Xxxoo love , Damon
– Damon Chesse

Countless Thanksgiving dinners together as part of our extended family.
– Valerie and Michael Garrett

I had the privilege of serving on the Board of Directors with Ann for 10 years. At that time the MVFF was still a young organization looking for a permanent facility. Because of her incredible efforts to see the Rafael become a reality, the entire community has benefited enormously. She was a woman of great wit, energy, talent coupled with an intimitating charm that made her a tremendous force in the cultural community. It was an honor to know her.
– Marsha Ryan

I am changing my original rsvp from two to four.
– Tara Blau Smollen

I met Ann shortly before I moved to California in the late 80’s. I didn’t know many people and Ann kindly took me under her wing. She invited me to go swimming with her every morning at the JCC. Afterwards we’d go back to her house on Palm Avenue for coffee and conversation. I was looking for work and she helped me in many ways. We spent most of our time alone in Ann’s house talking about everything from men and creativity to quantum physics and the nature of reality. Years later Ann moved a few blocks from my home. Now it was my turn to help including answering frantic calls for tech support. We spent many hours alone continuing our conversations. I miss Ann and sometimes I imagine her as a brightly colored orb (after all those years in black and white) floating around in space, non-verbally communicating, “We were right. There is no time. All is well.”
– Karen Littman

Anne was my first Agent, little did I know how lucky I was to have her. She was one of the most elegant women I’ve ever known and her elegance was matched by her wit and her passion for the Arts.
– Kathleen Quinlan

My parents were big on calling adults Aunt and Uncle so and so .. your mother insisted she be called “Ann” since we were working together. I’ve always appreciated that lesson. i remember her in the jeep and giving your first birthday party in Sausalito . She served strawberries with whipped cream .. now what have i forgotten to remember that? they were pretty good!
– Rita Knox

Loved her as a director, a guiding force behind the Rafael Theatre project and Alter Theater and as a truly remarkable human being.
– Craig Jessup

Casting a series of commercials i directed for Planned Parenthood. We allotted the usual 15 minutes per actor. But pretty much everyone opened us to Ann and I about sex, there first sexual experience, an unplanned pregnancy, etc. We all revealed a lot about our sexuality and our sexual experiences. Mid-way through the first morning session, Ann left the room to reschedule the amount of time we needed to spend with each actor. What we thought one day would suffice but one day became three. We cast commercials with teenagers, men, women, old and young. They turned out to be great spots, award winning. We did them through Public Media Center and American Zoetrope. Each time Ann and I would meet up, we would reminisce about this highlight of our casting together over the years.
– Robert Dalva

Ann taught me more about life than just about anyone. She was my first agent in the 70ies. When i was young and pretty naive she also hired me to work for her in her office. i remember typing vouchers til 2:00 AM, struggling with my hunt and peck system. My skills were so limited Ann fired me within a month with a bit of advice. “Learn to ask questions”, she said. “your talents are perhaps better suited to the screen”.
– Katherine Conklin

Ann Brebner was a light and a brave female advocate for the arts long before it was common to be so. She gave tirelessly right until the end. She will remain a influence on my artistic life.
– Elizabeth Craven

She and Mark were the first people I met in Marin, when I interviewed for the Rafael job.
– Richard Peterson

Ann was the 1st agent I met in SF, and she’d likely be okay with me missing the memorial due to a commercial shoot. She always inspired the arts community, with her spirit of respect for artists and compassion for integrity. Most recently I am inspired by her dedication to Jennette Harrision’s Alter Theatre Ensemble, (which I was part of for the inaugural season).
– Jeffrey Weissman

Ann and my mother were beloved dear friends.. I filmed an interview with Ann about my mother in 2013. What an amazing and lovely woman Ann was.
– Aarin Burch

I’ll always remember how thrilled Ann was to learn she was going to be a grandmother. She adored them, doted on them. We learned to expect the quirkiest gifts on birthdays and Christmas. So grateful Georgia got her love of theater and writing — and her independent spirit. She lives on in them. I’m grateful, too, we got to see her one last time last fall. Hug Jay for us, Anna-Nanna.
– Carol Harbers

I have known Ann since I was 13 and she has always been an inspiration to me !!!! She was always poised and dressed like Georgia O’keefe all in black with siver hair pulled back, a beautiful necklace and beautiful stunning blue eyes. Alert and ready to experience art or a good film, she is also responsible for the beautiful design see in the remodeling of the Rafael. I remember standing in the middle of the floor, now the large theater with my grandmother and Ann discussing the textures and colors as well as the restoration of the large art deco lamp. I will always have her in my heart and hold her on the highest regard. I know my dad Mark Fishkin will as well; we love and miss you, Ann.
– Tia Whitekaer

Ann was a complete original. It seemed she was unfettered by preconceptions about how a young lady should live her life—perhaps, an advantage of being brought up by men, and in New Zealand. Her legend preceded her, for me – I heard about her long before I met her. That was in 1976, on my very first day in California, when this young theatre director arrived from London and someone gave me the lowdown on SF. Later, through Mill Valley Film Festival, I got to know her. Then I discovered that her legend was not so much about her fame, but about admiration for her: oh, rather, estimation. She was estimable. Then, a couple of random memories: her Ford Mustang—Steve McQueen may have inspired it, but she knew how to wear it. And, gleefully putting on that huge red samurai helmet, a Kurosawa piece, at Francis Ford Coppola’s house, for a Women In Film directors workshop weekend in the early ’80s. She was creativity personified. She didn’t break the mold of what a woman was supposed to be: it was just irrelevant. Ann defied all concept of age, generation, when or how you should be doing what in your life. She didn’t adhere to the perceived structure of how life should go – birth, marriage, career, retirement, – she just lived life. Every single moment of it, with glee, with creativity, with unmitigated and uncensored boldness—and with the occasional F bomb. She was, indeed, a Force to be reckoned with. What an inspiration. I was, and will remain forever, in awe of her. She’s the embodiment of a life well lived.
– Zoë Elton

Always a lovely, gracious presence! She will be missed!
– Yvonne Fox
When I was in “The River Bride” at Alter Theater, co-directed by Ann and Jeanette Harrison, we had costume fittings and a photo call at Ann’s beautiful home. Because there are such open hearts and doors at Alter, my daughter Anna, who at the time was 11 years old, got to come with me and enjoy the day. It turned out that the photographer was unable to make it to the photo call, so Ann decided to do it herself on her IPad. Anna was looking over Ann’s shoulder and said, very sweetly, “Miss Brebner if you tap the icon while it’s shaking, you might delete the app.” Ann handed her IPad to Anna, Anna volunteered to take the publicity shots, and Ann joyfully allowed an 11-year-old to be our photographer that day. Ann even insisted that Anna get photographer credit for the shots, and they were used for our postcards and programs. Ann and Anna were fast friends from that day on, I am so thankful that my daughter and I had the opportunity to know and love this gifted, kind, and beautiful human being.
– Cathleen Riddley
Ann was my “hip” other mother and the clear eyes through which I saw glimpses of my better self. She loved me and my family generously and it is as if she were simply in the next room. Not missed or forgotten those blue eyes, white hair and expressive hands. Alive in us you are.
– Craig Caddell