ED, February 2004

From the Executive Director

Despite the miserable winter of 2003/04 that we are currently experiencing, it will take much more than blowing snow and bitter cold to stop members from working on their film projects or attending our workshops and film courses.  In fact, we are happy to report that 2003 seems to have been one of our best years in the history of the organization. LIFT recorded significant increases in membership, workshop and course revenue and an increase in equipment rentals and store sales. Although, we’ll know the final numbers until the completion of our financial audit, it appears that we have taken a significant chunk out of the deficit we incurred in 2002.  Our recent success is not only a testimony to the staff’s commitment to provide the best possible service to the LIFT membership but also the investment that the membership has made in the organization. LIFT will continue to raise the bar in 2004 with a number of new and exciting events and programs.

Here are just a few that we can announce:

Major renovations to the LIFT facilities will continue thanks to a generous grant from the City of Toronto’s Cultural City Capital Grants Program. This grant will allow LIFT to complete the new 16/35mm animation room; complete the sound insulation in the pro tools/voice over suite; improve the functionality of the mezzanine; reorganize and upgrade the darkroom facilities and finally give the office a much needed facelift.  We will begin the upgrades in late February and will take about 6 weeks. Please feel free to come in for a tour of the upgrades in March.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Canada Council through their pilot program for Foreign Visiting Artists, LIFT is happy to announce Lee Krist as our 2004 Artist in Residence. Lee will be at LIFT for 7 weeks beginning in mid March to the end of April. Lee will be sharing his unique expertise in 35mm experimental filmmaking while taking advantage of LIFT’s upgraded 35mm optical printer. Lee will be teaching workshops in 35mm experimental animation and Rotoscoping. (please check our website for more details) Lee is a wonderful artist with a generous soul and we are looking forward to his arrival. Lee residency at LIFT represents the first step in an ongoing and ambitious strategy to increase the exploration in film as an art form through the residencies at LIFT and special partnerships with other organizations.

Of course, we have created a number of film courses that provide participants an affordable opportunity to make their film projects.

These are exciting times to be a filmmaker. With the recent upgrades to our facilities and with Lee’s residency in March, members will be given the opportunity to explore new and unchartered territory in filmmaking.  Let’s go!

Shine it on,

Roberto Ariganello

Executive Director