In a letter to its approximately 4,000 members, the thirty-one year old Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF) has formally announced that the organization will close at the end of this month. The movie was widely expected in light of recent news that an emergency fundraising initiative failed to raise enough money to support the entity’s future planning goals. In the statement to members, the AIVF indicated that it hopes to find a way to continue publishing The Independent magazine, while at the same time exploring ways to relaunch the organization as a membership group.
The AIVF is in the process of vacating its offices in Lower Manhattan. The move, including the relocation of a number of subtenant organizations, is expected to conclude by June 28, 2006.
Current AIVF members will maintain health insurance benefits through the end of this year, while any other benefits of membership are in question. The statement indicated that by next month the organization intends to notify members about whether it might offer some benefits from other independent media organizations.
“Whether or not AIVF is ultimately able to continue as an organization, we are hopeful that the Independent will continue as an information resource and voice for the independent community,” the organization said in a statement.
The complete text of the AIVF announcement follows:
June 13, 2006
Dear AIVF Members,
RE: AIVF to Close Operations with Efforts Underway to Continue the Independent
In February AIVF launched an emergency fundraising appeal with an announcement to members that the organization faced an uncertain future. We are sorry to report that we have not reached the fundraising targets necessary for a turnaround and continuation of operations. However, long-term supporters in the independent community are organizing later this month to assess whether a core group of champions can take over hands-on management of the Independent while also reinventing and relaunching AIVF as a membership organization. We are also actively exploring other options for continuing publication of the Independent through other like-minded organizations.
Read on for important information about AIVF member benefits and updates on future prospects:
Health insurance continues through 12-31-2006: For those currently covered by health insurance based on your AIVF membership, your coverage will continue through the end of this year (Dec. 31, 2006) no matter what your renewal date. For questions about your existing coverage, please contact:
TEIGIT (David Rubin) 1-800-886-7504
Also, we are in conversation with other independent media organizations to see if they will be able to extend health insurance coverage for AIVF members beyond 2006. We will report back to you in July with an update.
Operations will close 6-28-2006: AIVF will close operations and vacate its office space by June 28. We are in conversation with like-minded organizations that may be able to provide alternatives for AIVF members, such as specific benefits or a complimentary membership. We will report back to you in July with an update.
Future Prospects: Whether or not AIVF is ultimately able to continue as an organization, we are hopeful that the Independent will continue as an information resource and voice for the independent community. While supporters are regrouping to assess whether the magazine can be taken on under AIVF auspices, AIVF’s transitional board has also been exploring the option of having a like-minded successor organization take over publication of the Independent. With the assistance of a consultant with expertise in small press magazine publishing, we have created financial models and initiated conversations with a handful of interested independent media groups. Chief among our concerns with any potential successor organization is a commitment to the Independent’s core values: advocacy to promote and protect diverse independent voices, information exchange and community support for independents, and excellence in the art and craft of independent media making.
Special legacy issue of the Independent: Look for a special issue of the Independent in July highlighting some of the important stories, voices and moments in independent filmmaking since AIVF was founded in 1973. While no single issue of the Independent can totally represent the many layers of our rich history over more than 30 years, this issue offers a glimpse of what has been accomplished due to the creativity and hard work of so many.