ED, Jan-Feb 2005

Message from the Executive Director (LIFT Newsletter Volume 25 Issue 1, January 2005)

As we approach the end of the year, we are obliged to review the year and reflect on our experiences at LIFT. 2004 was an interesting year with many highs and lows. Despite the theft of equipment back in May, we are actually coping well financially as we approach our fiscal year end. Fortunately, as an organization, LIFT is strong enough to endure even the most despicable acts of transgression. It is during this troubling period that we are reminded why we are here and what we do for independent filmmaking in our community.

LIFT exists to support innovative forms of independent filmmaking. Film has changed drastically in the past few years. Schools are rapidly discarding their film equipment in favour of (yawn) digital technology. However, LIFT has introduced new services and created new partnerships to ensure that film will continue not only as a time-based medium but also as an art form. It is incumbent on us to promote film and expand the film community to ensure that film resources are hopefully available into the next century!

To that end, LIFT has donated film editing equipment to the Peterborough Arts Umbrella (PAU) and the Northeastern Ontario Film Association (NOFA) in order to encourage filmmaking in parts of the province both near and far.

There are a number of initiatives that we began in 2004 that are in full swing, including the tour of the $99 No Excuses Film across Ontario. We are planning to screen the $99 films in Kingston, Ottawa, North Bay and Sudbury in 2005. Our goal is not only to highlight the achievements of our membership but also illustrate the remarkable creative possibilities of film through technical workshops that occur at each stop of the tour. Martha Colburn has completed her visiting artist residency at LIFT and created some remarkable work with the new 35mm optical printer and in our new 35mm animation suite. We look forward to inviting other remarkable filmmakers from around the world to visit LIFT and share their expertise with the membership.

In 2005 we are planning an ambitious Director’s Series of Screenings that will showcase new work by LIFT’s established filmmakers as well as a number of Artists Talks that will focus on unique aspects of filmmaking.

We hope to complete our renovations early in 2005. Our new 16/35 animation suite was booked solid for almost two months as a number of artists took advantage of room for rotoscoping and hand-painted animation in 35mm. The Protools suite is nearly complete as we put the finishing touches on a mixing room. The darkroom and the mezzanine are net on our renovation agenda.  Our filmmaking resources are expanding as we discover new innovative techniques and tools. What a great time to be a filmmaker! Shine it On!

Roberto Ariganello, Executive Director