Founded in 1949 – and still going strong – ACOFS (Australian Council of Film Societies) is the peak national body of the Australian film society movement and community cinema movement.
ACOFS is run by dedicated volunteers. It is not driven either by government or by the corporate/commercial sector.
The members of ACOFS consist of independent state-based federations.
In turn, the members of each state federation are individual, non-profit film societies (as well as non-profit film festivals and film venues/cinemas) from within the relevant state.
In other words, film societies do not directly join ACOFS. They join a state federation. And it is through their state federation that they are then represented, through ACOFS, nationally and internationally across the commercial, government, and non-profit sectors.
This multi-level structure ensures that decision-making is kept decentralised, transparent, and diverse – as diverse, colourful and vigorous as the whole Australian film society movement itself – thus accommodating the widest range of viewpoints and interests possible; vital to a movement based on freedom of expression.
State Film Federations
There are many reasons why a film society may become a member of a state federation, including the following:
- To be formally recognised as a serious, properly constituted non-profit film society or festival or film venue/cinema.
- To take advantage of preferential film hire rates and DVD rights charges negotiated by ACOFS and made available through each Federation.
- To be eligible to borrow films from the NTLC (Non-Theatrical Lending Collection) at the NFSA (National Film and Sound Archives) in Canberra.
- To take advantage of the insurance policies available through the Federations.
- To access and to share knowledge, support, and ideas across Australia with fellow film societies.
- Through each state Federation’s “ACOFS delegates”, to have a national and international voice with government authorities, commercial film enterprises, and other bodies that directly or indirectly affect the film society movement of Australia.
Aims of ACOFS
As per its Constitution …
- To represent the Australian Film Society movement at a national and international level.
- To foster the growth of the film society movement in Australia by means of cooperation with existing state federations of film societies and where no such state federation exists to encourage by all means possible the formation of a state federation of film societies.
- To cooperate with international organisations and federations of film societies in other countries.
- To cooperate with other national bodies in seeking improvement of standards of film appreciation and film study generally.
- To support and cooperate with bodies of film users other than film societies or federations at a national level.
- To represent the film society movement nationally on matters relating to the importation, distribution, exhibition and production of films.
- To support the increase of supply of films available for film study purposes and improve the distribution of such films to non commercial bodies generally on a national level.
- To encourage the exchange of information between state federation of film societies, between individual film societies, and other bodies of film users on a state and national level.
- To cooperate with other national bodies in seeking the improvement of standards of film and television programs for both adults and children at a national level.
- President: Ian Davidson (VIC) … firstname.lastname@example.org
- Vice President: Leth Maitland (NSW)
- Secretary: John Arkins (VIC) … email@example.com
- Treasurer: John Turner (VIC)
- Committee: Jim Mansbridge (TAS)
- Committee: David Smith (WA)
ABN: 69 667 887 179
Incorporated in Victoria. Organisation # A0057904W