ED, July 2004

From the Executive Director

The 2004 Annual General Meeting at LIFT took place on Tuesday, May 31. The meeting marked a year of transition for LIFT, both good and bad. Before we examine our accomplishments and disappointments since the last AGM, there are a couple of board members who are stepping down that deserve to be acknowledged. Eliana Fredrick and Juliana Saragosa joined the board at a time when LIFT was struggling to define itself as an organization. Both dedicated a remarkable amount of their free time to LIFt when it mattered most.

Eliana workd tirelessly on the Special Events Committee prior to and during her tenure on the board. She also provided an invaluable perspective to personnel issues that informed the organization in a positive way. Eliana, we thank you for your contribution and wish you well with your endeavours.

Juliana assumed her role of Board Chair during a  time of upheaval and uncertainty at LIFT. Juliana’s enthusiasm for film and her contribution to LIFT over the years should be applauded as a model for others to follow. I have known Juliana for about six years, since when she came into LIFT after completing her studies at Humber College. From the very beginning Julie demonstrated a commitment to our organization. Over the years, she has taught workshops and contributed innumerable LIFT film projects while developing her own unique film art, which has garnered the attention of the independent film community in Canada. We wish her well with her studies at Simon Fraser University.

For those of you who were not in attendance at the 2004 AGM, there were a number of exciting developments that were reported. Some highlights include:

A new 16/35mm animation camera in the Azure suite

A new super 8 and 16mm telecine system in the Orange suite

A full sound-insulated Pro Tools mixing studio and ADR room

An upgrade to 35mm for the aerial optical printer in the Violet suite

LIFT also reported new partnerships with laboratories and film suppliers to ensure that film production remains a creative and affordable option to our members. And speaking of members, we have expanded our visiting artist membership to give visiting filmmakers from across Canada and abroad better access to LIFT facilities and services (feel free to call me for more details, stranger!).

Our audited financial statements for 2003 were also reported at the AGM and revealed a remarkable upswing in activity at LIFT. For example, we were able to reduce our accumulated deficit from 2001 and 2002 by 74%. The reduction was a result of our best year in self-generated revenues. LIFT recorded our highest growth ever in membership. LIFT Store sales and educational workshops and film courses. All of this growth would not have been possible without the remarkable dedication of the LIFT board and staff.

Unfortunately, the good news was overshadowed by the significant theft of film cameras, sound and grip equipment in early May. Although the loss will affect our level of service for the next few months, LIFT will never depart from its commitment to supporting independent filmmaking with affordable access to production and post-production resources.

Over the past year we have made great strides to provide creative and career opportunities for our members through the expansion of LIFT services. The despicable act of theft may change some of our policies, but LIFT is committed to maintaining and promoting the psirit of cooperation and community that has been our cornerstone since our inception.

Shine it on,

Roberto Ariganello

LIFT Volume 24 Issue 4, July 2004