Having spent some time talking with board members and staff at AIVF for an indieWIRE story published today, I am particuarly curious to hear some feedback from filmmakers. Its current, former and future members of the 30 year-old organization who will have the ultimate say in whether the group lives or dies, and its filmmakers and members of the indie community who have the most at stake, whether they call on AIVF, another organization, or mobilize themselves to deal with the many media and arts issues facing filmmakers today.
I've heard quite a variety of comments when talking with people about AIVF recently. Younger people in film seem to have little knowledge of the organization (and its achievements or history), others have bluntly said they wouldn't miss the group if it were to fade away.
Its clear that media arts organizations, like AIVF (and IMAGE in Atlanta, Film Arts in San Francisco, etc.) play a very different role in independent film today, as do membership organizations like the IFPs or Film Independent.
The AIVF board and staff are going through an important fundraising and feedback stage right now as they try to quickly chart a course for the future. My own proposal is that they convene (perhaps with the IFP here in NYC), a town hall meeting of filmmakers, festival programmers, film industry, and others to talk about the biggest issues facing the indie community today and to have a discussion abotu what sort of representation filmmakers need today, and how groups like AIVF (and other non-profits) can represent them. I'd be happy to help arrange such an event.