New chair – New report: The 10th!
January 31, 2013 for the Sept 1, 2011 – Aug. 31, 2012 Fiscal Year
Highlights of the year
Fundy Film’s tenth year was a good one. Audiences responded to our plea to help us keep our prices down by “introducing friends to Fundy Film”. FFS averaged 81.6 people per screening vs 68.4 in 2010 and managed to put almost an additional $2000 in the operating reserve. Much of the credit for managing our finances and box office goes to Treasurer/Corporate Secretary Noemi Volovics. Clearly our Film Selection Committee and our publicity team also deserves recognition for the success over the past year. Film selection is an art more than a science and our committee (Mary Costello, Susan Hauer, Eamonn Schwartz, Macky Schwartz, Mark Tipperman, Ned Zimmerman (ad hoc), William Zimmerman and Noemi Volovics who chaired the Committee) put together a sequence of series which both pleased our audiences and encouraged a greater appreciation of what film has to offer.
This has been an easy year for the Fundy Film Board with no major decisions required, thus very few Board meetings. Key volunteers have been largely engaged with the “business as usual” of the Society: selection, booking, publicizing, receiving and shipping, lining up box office volunteers, screening and managing the finances for each Fundy Film series. While the financial situation is stable and healthy, there will be challenges ahead and the Society must be careful about any new initiatives. Fundy Film shortened the 6-pack sale period in order to control the use of 6-packs more in line with their original purpose. Fundy Film continues to encourage the establishment of a series for children building on the former Wolfville Area Cinema for Kids and Youth (WACKY) experience. There are specific individuals expressing interest in running a series, which is encouraging.
Just as the FFS fiscal year ended the Acadia Cinema Cooperative under new President Steven Slipp moved ahead with the installation of the digital cinema server in the booth, completing the move to Digital Cinema screening in the Al Whittle Theatre. This was facilitated by a loan from Fundy Film. The 35 mm projector was retained (one of only a handful left in the province). FFS showed only one 35 mm film out of the 25 films in the Autumn 2012 series. Obviously this critical investment by ACC was essential for the continued operation of Fundy Film, the Coop’s Anchor Tenant.
Fundy Film continued to work on improving our publicity by reinforcing and renewing the relationships with the organizations who help us publicize our films. This is especially important as our contacts at Acadia change every year.
Over this period the Society has attempted to improve the utility of the pre-show screens. As an example, Fundy Film began to put up the posters for our “wish list” films on screen early (to encourage viewers to “buy local” and see the film with FFS) and then indicated confirmation of each film. This is also done in parallel with a similar routine on our website but long before our brochure/posters are printed.
Susan Hauer continues to be the point person on publicity and community relations: arranging special screenings, overseeing the production and distribution of our print materials, sending weekly PSAs to available media outlets and list serves; initiating contact with groups and faculty who may have a special interest in certain films and seeking out new opportunities. Noemi Volovics began contributing significantly to the website and brochure writing. Karen Maser and Susan Hauer distributed materials. Andrew Kerr maintained the FFS presence at Horton, Jean Kelly kept an eye on the rack in Acadia’s Beveridge Arts Centre and Rachel Brickner faithfully sent our PSAs to faculty through ACE-FYI.
Anne Odell prepared the trailer packages for us each week using the template developed and refined by John Robichaud. Nancy Saul-Demers kept our Facebook and Twitter up to date while I maintained our web site. Ned Zimmerman completed the transition of our web site to a long anticipated and much improved management system.
Trevor Dalgleish continued to handle the in and out of the films supporting my job of keeping track with the Circuit by e-mail and phone.
Mary Costello lined up screening volunteers each week.
FFS is also lucky to have three committed projectionists working for the Acadia Cinema Cooperative who often go above and beyond to make sure our films get to the screen: Tony Napoli, Jamie Loughead, and David Reidl.
Finally, Fundy Film can not express enough appreciation to the Al Whittle Theatre’s new manager, Mary Harwell. She has shown tremendous initiative, responsiveness, co-operation and generally been a joy to work with.
Total # of films: 55 (59 including special and charity);
Total # of screenings: 88 (92 including special and charity)
Total # of attendees: 7340 (7503 including special and charity)
Best attended Features:
My Week with Marilyn 356
The Artist 337
The Iron Lady 317
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy 315
The Way 308
Best attended Docs:
West Wind: The Vision of Tom Thomson 147
Cave of Forgotten Dreams 115
Forks over Knives 109
People of a Feather 100
Special event details
On April 25, 2012 Fundy Film screened West Wind: The Vision of Tom Thomson. Nancy Lang, the film’s researcher and co-producer introduced the film and offered a Q & A afterwards.
Fundy Film hosted two classic film screenings during this period to support the Acadia Cinema Coop’s centenary celebrations of the theatre’s original site. The Wizard of Oz was shown in September and Gone With the Wind in December.
Fundy Film also had two additional special screenings:
The Strangest Dream was shown on September 21st to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the UN’s International Day of Peace. The filmmaker Eric Bednarski was in Europe at the time but sent opening remarks to be read at the screening. A panel discussion and a Q & A with Peggy Hope-Simpson, Sarah Storey and Peter Walker followed the film.
The award winning documentary People of a Feather was shown on March 14th with the proceeds going to the Arctic Eider Society. The film maker Joel Heath and editor Evan Warner were present, held a Q&A after the film and had a display in the lobby that all enjoyed.
In addition to our own screenings we encouraged, supported and rolled out our PR machine on behalf of the premiere of Silver Donald Cameron’s Salmon Wars: Aquaculture, Wild Fish and the Future of Communities. The screening was held on June 13, 2012 followed by a live link with the Halifax premiere and a local Q&A hosted by Henry Hicks.
I would like to thank the outgoing Board members Michael Kusdudic and Megan Haliburton for their commitment to and work on behalf of the Fundy Film Society.
In the coming year Fundy Film needs to seriously address the issue of succession. Preliminary work that was done on board restructuring was presented at the last AGM and this document needs to be refined, adopted and really implemented. New Board members need to be recruited who are willing to take over the week-to-week operations of the Society as long-time workers retire.
This would be facilitated by the creation of the Operations Handbook for the Society proposed during the last AGM period. Some preliminary work began but time has not been found to continue.
The Society needs to be aware of and to examine new opportunities for promoting our screenings. Marketing students from Acadia have just initiated a project to identify a digital marketing strategy for Fundy Film, which will need to be carefully considered. The outcome will be reported to the membership at next year’s AGM.
As the Society establishes financial stability the Board will need to re-examine the donations policy. Fundy Film could continue our moratorium on donations, re-institute donations to arts groups only or establish other criteria for dealing with any donation requests.
To all of the people mentioned in this report and those un-named who make Fundy Film a success: Thank You!