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After Failing To Meet Fundraising Goal, AIVF's Future Is in Question

By Eugene Hernandez | Indiewire May 15, 2006 at 10:51AM

The Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF) failed to meet its goal of raising $60,000 and the organization has moved into a holding pattern, according to the non-profit organization's interim executive director Lina Srivastava. In a conversation with indieWIRE she explained, "(The organization has) kind of gone into moth balls to a certain extent." Last week, AIVF membership director Priscilla Grim was the latest staff member laid off by the group, which seems to be facing an even more bleak future. The organization also recently notified subletting tenants at its Lower Manhattan office space that it will be moving out of the site at the end of June.
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The Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF) failed to meet its goal of raising $60,000 and the organization has moved into a holding pattern, according to the non-profit organization's interim executive director Lina Srivastava. In a conversation with indieWIRE she explained, "(The organization has) kind of gone into moth balls to a certain extent." Last week, AIVF membership director Priscilla Grim was the latest staff member laid off by the group, which seems to be facing an even more bleak future. The organization also recently notified subletting tenants at its Lower Manhattan office space that it will be moving out of the site at the end of June.

Srivastava acknowledged that the group had raised about $20,000; the funds were collected as part of an effort aimed at providing operating funds for AIVF as the group developed a long-term plan. She explained that in the coming weeks the board will meet to discuss the next steps for the organization.

"We had certain goals for a short term fundraising campaign, not that it would have saved the organization, but it would have gotten us through a certain period to initiate a long term planning initiative," Srivastava explained."We met one third of that goal and now we need to figure out where we go from here."

"(The $60,000) would have given us a lot of leeway, in terms of transforming the organization and keeping the doors open," Srivastava said, "The fact that we didn't raise the other two-thirds of it is a huge consideration."

Part of the future will likely involve finding a new home for AIVF's magazine, "The Independent." Srivastava has spoken with other entities about finding a new publisher and/or partner for the magazine. She added that she will extend her interim status at AIVF and remain on board until the organization's boaard makes some decisions about AIVF's future. Following last week's departure of Priscilla Grim, Srivastava remains in the office with Shana Liebman, Editor-in-Chief of the magazine.

"We are trying to find a home for 'The Independent', if in fact the organization can't support it any longer," Srivastava told indieWIRE. We are throwing all our energies behind 'The Independent', figuring out how that moves forward." She added, "We are taking the time to figure out what is going to happen in the next year."

In June, AIVF will convene a meeting of a group of members and supporters to discuss how they might proceed with the magazine, both online and in print.

In the meantime, the July/August issue of the publication ma be a final issue of sorts. It will include a look back at the history of organization. "No matter what happens," Srivastava explained, "The tribute issue is to look at the place the AIVF has in history. Really a tribute, its not just about the legacy its about why AIVF was important." She concluded, "Its 'The Independent's' answer to a lot of what has been going on since February," she said, singling out the tremendous amount of talk about AIVF, spurred by recent media coverage of the situation at the organization.

We don't want the AIVF legacy to go away," Srivastava said, "And we don't want the Independent legacy to go away."

UPDATE: In a brief email message, AIVF board chair Paula Manley indicated that organization leadership will meet on May 21st.

This article is related to: Advocacy