Annual Report 2012-2013

President’s Annual Report 2012–2013

The Annual General Meeting of the Fundy Film Society

Studio-Z, February 3, 2015 for the Sept 1, 2012–Aug 31, 2013 Fiscal Year

The 11th year of the Fundy Film Society saw the Society present more films with more screenings than the preceding year but the average audience/screening attendance declined slightly. Our experience shows that, from year to year, the availability of very popular films varies significantly. We were fortunate to have had a good selection to choose from during this year.

•                                        2011–2012                       2012–2013
Films                                        59                                          61
Screenings                             92                                          94
Audience                             7603                                      7599
Audience/Screening          82.6                                      80.8

Numbers include special and charity screenings.

Finances continued to be precarious as costs escalated while Fundy Film held the line on ticket prices. The lower attendance/screening was also a problem but the Society managed to fulfill its mandate while maintaining financial viability.

This was the first “digital year” (almost – a single film was screened on 35 mm) and the resulting reduced shipping and screening costs helped contain expenses.

Volunteers are essential: 

Those who served on he Board during the 2012–2013 year were: Rachel Brickner, Mary CostelloS. J. Hauer, Mark TippermanNoemi VolovicsBill Zimmerman and Honorary Board Member, Al Whittle.

The Fundy Film Society is only able to do what it does because of the contribution of volunteers, and it is important to remember that many tasks must be done weekly:

Noemi Volovics as corporate secretary/treasurer deals with reporting to the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and handles the finances of the Society including all record keeping and weekly Box Office arrangements. Mark Tipperman undertook the job of recording secretary, producing minutes for Board and AGM meetings.

Mary Costello continued to arrange for Box Office volunteers, a position she has fulfilled for eternity! Box office volunteers, including Al Whittle who faithfully takes tickets for each Sunday 4 pm screening, over this AGM period included Rachel Brickner, Lindsay Ann Cory,  Mary Costello,  Olivia Frampton, Sonya Forman, Megan Haliburton, Susan Hauer, Heather Pierce, Eamonn and Malachy Schwartz, Mark Tipperman, Noemi Volovics and Bill Zimmerman.

Noemi Volovics chaired the Film Selection Committee, working with Ahmed Darwish, Bill Zimmerman, Eamonn Schwartz, Macky Schwartz, Mary Costello, Mark Tipperman and Susan Hauer to select films during the AGM year (Winter and Spring/Summer 2013). This process can make or break FFS fiscally so we are very grateful to the individuals who contribute.

Susan Hauer also continued in her management of publicity and community relations, overseeing the production of all print materials and website postings (assisted by Noemi Volovics and Bill Zimmerman), public service announcements (PSAs) and press releases for the Society, and inquiries from the public, introductions of guests etc. In addition, of note during the 2012–2013 AGM year, Fundy Film PSAs were posted by Bruce Dienes of Community Events of the Annapolis Valley, Acadia University’s AXE Radio with Tymika Kane and then Stephanie Bethune; and the Acadia Students’ Union VPs Grant Oyston, Jocelyn Graham and then Lindsay Doucet. Karen Maser helped circulate printed materials, Nancy Saul Demers continued with weekly social media postings and Rachel Brickner again sent out Susan’s PSAs to Acadia faculty/staff and ALL members through ACE-FYI each week. Anne Odell assembled weekly trailer packages for the screenings until the spring, when Bill Zimmerman took over. Bill also looked after pre-screening slides of confirmed and TBC films for each new series. Ned Zimmerman has overseen the website since 2002 and plans were begun to redesign and modernise the site when he returns to the province in 2015.

Trevor Dalgleish continued to handle the incoming and outgoing of film prints with help from Bill Z (in Trevor’s absence), and theatre manager Mary Harwell who kept an eye on these shipments and the arrival of KDMs onsite. Mary also ingested most films.

The working relationship between Fundy Film and the Al Whittle Theatre under the management of Mary Harwell continues to be excellent. Noemi serves as Fundy Film’s liaison to the theatre. Mary and her event managers Tony Napoli, Jamie Loughead and David Reidl grappled with technological changes in the projection booth to provide good service.

Items of note:

A group of Acadia University marketing students led by Sarah Mingo and Rebecca Glenen undertook a project to suggest improvements to the Fundy Film Society internet (website) presence. They presented their findings in the spring. Sarah and Rebecca also suggested that a pre-show video montage of clips from the films in each series could be used to promote the series. They produced a sample for the Spring/Summer 2013 Series which was very well received.

The board reexamined the donation policy of the Society which had been suspended both in light of finances and suggestions to broaden the scope of recipients. After discussion, the Board decided to return to the original policy in that donations would be limited to community arts groups only; would be limited to 12 tickets (two 6-Packs) per season, with perhaps only six tickets donated for Spring season, i.e. at a rate of approximately ½ ticket per film, with donation request deadlines one month before the applicable season begins.

Planning began for a new Wednesday night program of wW films that would allow Fundy Film to present films which are too long or unusual to fit into the normal two screening Sunday feature position. Projected startup: Autumn 2013.

Preliminary discussions were initiated to arrange for a screening of The Adventures of Prince Achmed, one of the first feature length animated films, to be accompanied by The Small World Project music trio from Montréal.

Fundy Film continued in efforts to start/support a children’s film series to follow in the tradition of WACKY. Interested parent meetings were held in April and June of 2013. The parents were all very interested but no one was willing to take on a leadership role in establishing the series. Efforts will continue.

Improvements to the front display window were carried out by Fundy Film as this is Fundy Film’s window in season for posters (one sheets) and information. Bill Zimmerman replaced the glass, installed a new metal surface allowing the posters to be held in place with magnets and installed LED lights around the perimeter.

The issue of succession was an on-going major concern.

Screenings of note:

The 2012–2013 year was rich in special screening experiences starting with the November 18, 2012 presentation of Thom Fitzgerald’s Cloudburst. Fundy Film was honoured to have Thom and his producing partner Doug Pettigrew to introduce the 7 p.m. screening and answer questions after the film.

On April 14, 2013 Fundy Film presented a locally produced short, Room Service directed by Glen Matthews before each screening of that Sunday’s feature.

Although it was not a Fundy Film presentation, we were pleased to participate in ACC’s April 26, 2013 celebration of Al Whittle’s 60th Anniversary of coming to Wolfville. The shorts Paper Cinema by local artist Anne MacMillan and Al Whittle: My Life in Movies shot and edited by Noemi Volovics were premiered along with the screening of one of Al’s favourite films Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

On May 1, 2013 Fundy Film presented Drowning in Colour: The Art of Wayne Boucher directed by Alan Collins. Boucher, Collins and producer Violet Rosengarten participated in a panel discussion moderated by Acadia University Art Gallery director Laurie Dalton following the screening. There was a reception at the Harvest Gallery. This was a very positive event for Fundy Film.

Blackbird (a multi award winner—directed by Nova Scotia’s Jason Buxton) screened on May 12, 2013. The director had planned to attend but a last minute conflict prevented it. This film was shot partly in Kings County at Waterville.

There were technical difficulties with the screening of Under African Skies which, sadly, made it impossible for us to complete the screening. It was not a commercial Blu-ray from the distributor. Our audience, while disappointed, was very understanding and the distributor was also.

The Fundy Film Society was pleased to co-operate with the Acadia Cinema Cooperative on August 5, 2013 to re-present the documentary Colville by Andreas Schultz in memory of Alex Colville following his death in July. Fundy Film donated $200 towards the costs. Proceeds from the free will offering were donated to the Valley Hospice Foundation. (Fundy Film had screened Colville originally in honour of Alex Colville’s 90th birthday in August, 2010. Alex and family members attended the 4 pm screening and proceeds of those screenings were also donated to VHF.)

Top Film Attendance:

     Double screening features:
Quartet (401)
Moonrise Kingdom (342)
Cloudburst (300)

     Single Screening Features:
Life of Pi (139)
Love is All You Need (134)

Samsara (138)

In conclusion:

During the 2012–2013 year, the Fundy Film Society continued to do a most credible job of carrying out its mandate:

• to provide community access to films rarely available in the Wolfville area, and

• to provide an opportunity in our community for the study, appreciation and celebration of film and the moving image as culturally significant art forms.

With over 150 TIFF Film Circuit groups from Newfoundland to British Columbia, the Fundy Film Society ranked 8th in audience attendance among member groups.

And finally, we go on record herein to acknowledge and thank everyone’s individual contribution to making Fundy Film what it is.

Respectfully yours,

William Zimmerman, President 2012-2013