Library Film and Video Lending Collection
and Conference was held in Melbourne over the weekend 19th to 21st
March. In an interesting two days the highlight was the Saturday Conference
attended by over fifty delegates and observers. All states except S.A. were
represented. The speakers who addressed the Conference were: John Smithies
(Chief Executive Officer ACMI), David Boden (Deputy Director ScreenSound), who
also spoke on behalf of the AFC, Tom Ruthven (National Library of Australia)
and Ina Bertrand (Film Historian, Lecturer on Film History and author).
overriding message was that everything would be O.K. and that we would not
lose access to the Collection. Tom Ruthven stated that the Library would cease
to be responsible for the Collection as of the 30th June. He could
not see that the Federal Government would hand over the films to other than
another Commonwealth body which would be ScreenSound, or in effect the AFC.
Neither he nor anyone else would be drawn on the possibility of the two bodies
becoming separate again in the future. I feel that this is a distinct
possibility and we need to ensure that the films remain with ScreenSound in
such an eventuality.
Smithies stated that ACMI were very keen to continue managing the Collection,
and if it changed hands there was no reason why ACMI could not continue to
play its current role for the new owner. Several people from the audience
stated that the service from ACMI had been excellent and wished arrangements
to remain as they are now.
emphasized that neither the AFC nor ScreenSound intended to change the way in
which the Collection was used, and that its future is as a lending collection.
ScreenSound is at present studying the infrastructure required to set up a
suitable lending service. Acquisition, Rights renewals, Cataloguing, are all
being considered alongside the usual Bookings and Technical support required.
He admitted that there is little time left to put this structure in place by
the end of June. David also said that there had been no decision as yet to the
ultimate location of the Collection.
of all this is that there are two major decisions. One is a course of action
for the rest of 2004, and then a permanent solution for 2005 onwards.
The point at
issue is, of course, who is to pay, and how much is to be allocated for this
unique service. It is not impossible, but unlikely, that the AFC/ScreenSound
combination may decide that the most efficient solution is to pay ACMI
to continue the service as is at present done by the National Library.
agreed with questions from the floor that the situation is urgent, and that
not only the programmes for this year are at stake, but the whole future of
discussions after the Conference it was decided to write to each of the bodies
involved in the decision and request a solution to be announced by the end of
April. This has been done and if no decision is forthcoming then individual
societies will be requested to make representations through their Federal
Members to bring the situation to the notice of the Arts Minister and his
counterpart in Opposition.
to screen DVDís at your Society
To all film
societies using or considering using DVDs at their regular screenings. ACOFS
is in the process of negotiating agreements with all known DVD screening
rights holders and their agents to allow film societies to screen their DVDs
to their members - ie "non-theatrical" screenings at appropriate
rates. Please let the secretary of ACOFS know of all DVD rights holders you
are aware of and the DVD screening rights they "own", so that ACOFS
can contact them and propose this agreement to them. In due course all
information submitted, and collected by ACOFS, will be compiled and available
to all film societies on request to enable the job of finding the "rights
holder" much easier.
Tel/fax: 02 94116616
Artarmon NSW 2064