July/August 2006

Letter from the Board

AIVF's Future Uncertain, Efforts Underway to Continue The Independent

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In the March issue of The Independent, we reported that AIVF faced a financial crisis and an uncertain future. As of this writing (June 2, 2006), AIVF is in the process of closing down operations and vacating its office space.

Mentors for Media Makers

“We were starving artists. Starving to feed ourselves on celluloid and barbequed chicken,” recalls filmmaker Ron Mann of the time during the late ‘70s when he hitchhiked from Paris to Cannes, slept on the beach, and carried his sleeping bag to meetings with producers. Somewhere along that route, he met director Frederick

Voices from Issues Past

What happened at AIVF over the last 30 years?

Toward a Post-Theatre Age

The future of distribution

For years, the holy grail of independent distribution was Miramax. Then mid-sized companies like ThinkFilm, Magnolia Pictures, and IFC Films emerged around the millennium, while mini-majors such as Sony Classics formed to compete with the Weinsteins. Meanwhile, smaller, mom-and-pop operations, trusted for their integrity—Kino, New Yorker, and Zietgeist—inhabited

Now & Then

A forerunner on 40 years of Super 8

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Long before Super 8’s 40-year march from home movie to Kodak’s hot new kid, long before camcorders, and long before desktop editing and filmmakers like us needed information, Bob Brodsky and I were pleased to have Super 8. When we began filmmaking in the 1970s we used it more often than 16mm to make community documentaries and short films.

Multiple Endings

Ask the Documentary Doctor

Dear Doc Doctor:
My documentary has three potential endings. How do I choose one?

False starts, fake endings, such are the tricks that storytelling—and life—plays on us. But it’s important to remember that endings are choices, even when documenting real events.

Love's Labor Lost

James Schamus weighs in on what happened at AIVF

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Alot of what AIVF did was to create an interface between very diverse communities of independent media makers and audiences that work structurally through the realms of public television. Not just public TV a la NPR and PBS, but also public access to media spaces like Collective for Living Cinema, Film/Video Arts, Millennium, and Anthology.


Indiepix and PixelTools Corporation recently announced that the 2,000 films available on Indiepix.net’s Download-To- Own system will be watermarked using a new technology called MPEG Escort. The invisible, digital watermark allows online purchasers to make copies, but prevents pirates from doing so, (the watermark makes it simple to trace who originally purchased and downloaded the film.)


It was while Matthew Jones was seeking cast and crew for his film projects at Columbia College that he realized the need for a “a distribution outlet for our work along with a network to recruit from.”

The History and Legacy of AIVF (Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers)

In 1975, when a small group of energetic filmmakers convened the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers in their living rooms and makeshift offices, the word “independent” didn’t yet conjure up a world of arthouses, busy film festival circuits, and documentary filmmakers with household names.

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