ED, October 2004

From the Executive Director

There has been a tremendous amount of activity since the last issue of LIFT magazine.  The Ward’s Island Picnic in August was a great fun (we have our first  hoola-hoop champion!) and a wonderful screening of the most recent $99 No Excuses films capped off a lovely day.  In late August, LIFT awarded 11 grants to accessing members through the revamped Filmmaker’s Support Program. And of course, I would like to thank all of you who attended the Shine it On! festivities on Wednesday September 3.  Both the Salon des Refuses and the Silent Auction were successful and a great par tee was had by all.

Over 200 people came out to watch a terrific line up of films for the Salon and bid on a wide range of items in our silent auction. We raised approximately $10,000. Please check out the LIFT website for more information about past and upcoming events and take a look at the photo gallery of the Ward’s Island Screening and Shine it On! party.

I would like to thank the staff, for doing a great job organizing the silent auction this year, especially Jesse Van der Schaaf, who filled in for Renata for a couple of weeks. Jesse’s unique solicitation  skills drew over 80 donors to the silent auction.  Of course, the silent auction would not have been possible without the generosity of all the donors. This has been an especially difficult year for the commercial film industry. The SARS epidemic (as it was known to the outside world) had a devastating effect on commercial film production in the city.  Yet, despite the poor economic environment, many organizations generously provided support for our best fundraiser in a number of years. The goal of the silent auction is to raise money for LIFT but also to stimulate independent film production. I have a feeling that there will be a number of films made over the next year that would not have been possible without the great deals provided in the auction.

In an effort to further stimulate film production, LIFT has organized its most ambitious session of workshops and courses ever. Not only are there  a number of new, exciting  workshops  this fall, but also project-oriented courses that are affordable opportunities to make a film.  For example, the How to Make a Short Film in 35mm Course is a great chance to make a 35mm short with excellent production values for a fraction of the cost.  I strongly encourage you to take advantage of the workshops and courses; they are LIFT’s way of making you a better filmmaker.

Finally, I want to thank all the volunteers who have helped out at the Island Screening, Shine it On! and with the workshops & courses. What separates LIFT from other organizations is the significant volunteer contributions made by our membership. None of the events and services that we provide would be possible without the support all of you who have given your time and energy to making LIFT more than just a place to rent film equipment.  Generating revenue is an important goal, but there is no dollar figure that can be placed on the sense of community fostered through the generous support of our membership at LIFT.

Shine it On,

Roberto Ariganello

Executive Director