July 1, 2002 — June 30, 2003
It is with great pleasure that I share with you a year-in-review of the Fundy Film Society’s activity since our first AGM last October.
From Autumn 2002 to Spring 2003, Fundy Film brought 26 films to the screen for almost 7,800 Valley viewers. These figures include ten films which were part of our alternative Sunday ON THE EDGE series which began in January 2003, as a three-film experiment and is continuing this fall with already two sell-out screenings behind us. These figures also include firsts for Fundy Film: co-operating with Horton High School for a daytime student screening of Bowling for Columbine and an extra Monday evening screening of that film allowing us to show it to over 800 viewers. We also moved into Empire’s largest theatre for three screenings of The Pianist.
The popularity of Fundy Film put us on a very firm financial footing this past year wherein we now must pay both HST and a booking fee to the Toronto Film Circuit which considers us “an established” group after only one and a half years.
The bursary program we had discussed for film students did not get off the ground last year, but is still one of Fundy Film’s important future goals. Instead most of our profits have been invested in the Acadia Cinema Coop Ltd. ($16,000 to date) where we hope to find a permanent home most appropriately in the Al Whittle Theatre as soon as possible.
Over the year we adjusted to continuing changes in personnel at both Empire Cinema, New Minas, and the Film Circuit in Toronto. It was not always easy but we managed. Currently, these organizations are co-operating partners and we are grateful to both for making our mandate possible.
Fundy Film spent some money at the beginning of last Autumn season for handsome logo T-shirts, a working uniform for Board and Steering Committee members and a few regular screening volunteers. These have been widely admired and the Board may consider selling a version of these as a fund raiser.
Fundy Film also invested in a laser printer which is used extensively for in-house production of Fundy Film print materials.
Last winter the Board established a policy of offering two pair of series tickets per season to local arts-based groups to use for fund-raising purposes. Two Planks and a Passion, Willpower and Mermaid Theatre were our first recipients.
At a recent meeting, we decided to combine the Board of the Fundy Film Society and the Steering Committee into an expanded Board only. The Board will appoint committees to carry out specific aspects of Fundy Film. A Winter Series Committee has already been established.
The success of the Fundy Film Society is due solely to the excellent co-operation and collaboration of volunteers who contribute their creativity, time, and energy most generously. It has always been our hope that we would have new volunteers in-training for each major program position in order to keep Fundy Film strong, long into the future. So far, we have not been as successful at this as we intended to be. To bring more people into the inner-workings of Fundy Film must be a conscious goal of all members and the Board this year. However, there has been some encouraging growth in the number of screening volunteers, which is a good start.
At this time I wish to acknowledge all those who have worked any screenings over the last year and to announce the policy of our new Courtesy Pass which gives free admission to anyone who works at a screening for a film. The person who earns the pass may use it for any Fundy Film personally or give it to a guest. Under most circumstances, there will be three numbered courtesy passes per screening. This policy will be evaluated at the the end of the Autumn Series.
Our web site continues to be an important communication resource for many viewers. On January 10, 2003, we had logged just over 3,000 hits in one year of operation. As of this weekend, we have had over 13,000. I offer a very special thank you to Ned Zimmerman, who designed and initially set up the site in one night after our first film in January, 2002, and continues to improve and maintain the site faithfully, even from afar.
In addition to Ned, I also want to acknowledge the Board and Steering Committee members for their faithful contribution over the past year. In particular I mention Judith Love, who took responsibility for the distribution of printed publicity materials throughout the area; Al Whittle for his loyal work and support for, and inspiration to Fundy Film; David Reid who looked after every aspect of our finances responsibly and (mostly) meticulously; our vice chair, Joan Parker, who has supported and worked for Fundy Film from the beginning, always providing ideas and positive support, while generously opening her home for our regular meetings; Mary Costello who keeps track of our weighty decisions through her meeting minutes, and has also co-ordinated all volunteers for every screening and ticket sale over the 2002-2003 period; Lee Lewis whose tireless and skilled effort in public relations has kept our programs and progress before the public ear and eye throughout the year; and Wil Zimmerman, able-bodied volunteer at screenings and ticket sales, who also designs our series package each season, keeps the film cans coming and going, and stays on top of our relationship with Empire. These people, along with your humble Chair, have been the heart and soul of Fundy Film over the past year. Individually and as a team we can feel great satisfaction in our wonderful accomplishment working together.
My fervent hope for the 2003-2004? That this time next year will find the Fundy Film Society meeting in the Al Whittle Theatre; that we will have strengthen as a working Society, and will have successfully fulfilled our mandate once again — having enriched the cultural life of the greater Valley community by providing another year of the finest available moving pictures.
On behalf of the Board of the Fundy Film Society, I offer a sincere Thank You to the many people who have supported us in any way over the past year, particularly to Society members and volunteers and those who faithfully attended our film series.
Susan J. Hauer, Chair