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.

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.

Letter From the Editor - July 2006

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Dear Readers,

American History X

Do filmmakers hold the key to our nation's attic?

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With more than 25 museums and research centers and a collection of more than 142 million objects, the Smithsonian Institution is a necessary treasure trove for anyone working on a project about American history and culture, anthropology, art, or science.

Blurring the Lines

The boundary between her film—about children with cancer—and her life evaporated when Julia Reichert herself was diagnosed with cancer

Ohio-based filmmakers Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert’s 3-hour and 45-minute documentary A Lion in the House follows five families with economically and racially diverse backgrounds over six years during their fights against childhood cancer.

Getting Perspective

AIVF's interim executive director's view from the inside

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When I came to work with AIVF in February, I don’t believe the Board or staff could have predicted that AIVF’s situation would spark a debate about the possible meltdown of an entire industry.


After 17 years publishing Moving Pictures magazine, the Maitland Primrose Group is partnering with other outlets to launch an alternative distribution channel. Maitland
Primrose Media will “offer a complete chain of digital distribution for independents” that is “focused on the audience- viewer side” says Moving Pictures publisher C. Margaret Tritch.

Why We (Still) Need AIVF

When I started to write this article, I began with a David Letterman-esque list of 20 reasons we need AIVF. I included practical items like “to get a job,” “to fill out an IRS schedule C for an unincorporated business,” and “to find out which film festivals are scams.” But the real reason we need AIVF is to find each other. We need to know where we are.

Movies on the Move

The original idea was to drive filmmaker Ben Blaine into the countryside and abandon him, but since Ben can’t drive and doesn’t own a mobile phone, his friends “thought it’d be great to do an event where I’m driven into the countryside and abandoned and people have to find me just using the Shooting People mailing list,” explains Blaine.

AIVF: And What it Meant to Me

I first became aware of AIVF when Martha Gever was editor of The Independent. I marveled at this national organization that put out each month a magazine chock full of weighty, intellectual and critical articles on film and video.

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