The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has announced new film series in partnership with Film Independent, with the New York Times as presenting sponsor.
In 2009, LACMA announced that they would discontinue their film series for financial reasons. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Time Warner Cable stepped up to provide temporary funding (see original indieWIRE story here). After renewing the HFPA deal, LACMA agreed to spend the 2010-2011 season looking to find a more sustainable model for their film program.
"The most exciting thing is that it gives us a real path to sustainability for potential growth," LACMA CEO Michael Govan said. "Everyone knows it's been a struggle. It got to the point where we needed to rethink it. We were looking for that relationship with people who had a lot of expertise, an enthusiastic constituency and the ability to raise money in the field. Film Independent has all of that. It also gives Film Independent a home in the community."
In a statement, LACMA Board of Trustees Co-Chair Terry Semel noted, “LACMA’s assessment of its film program has resulted in a deeper commitment. The museum will present major exhibitions focused on the art of film, including the upcoming MOMA-organized Tim Burton, Gabriel Figueroa in 2013, and Stanley Kubrick next year. We wanted to strengthen the series, not compete with what other presenters are doing, which is why Film Independent is a natural choice."
Said Govan, "This is the film screening program that we wanted to continue and grow. We have a more and more aggressive plan to grow the film program at the museum. Even in a DVD age, there are so many films that aren't available in that format that come in far-flung part of the world, especially good restored prints. There's a reason for the museum to be preserving and presenting these art works in this sense. Continually, I'm trying to bring more artists to LACMA to build the whole museum. We're an art history museum and we're also interested in future creative work."
The partnership will begin in September 2011, after former consulting film curator Ian Birnie's Tim Burton exhibition and program ends. For more analysis, visit Anne Thompson's Thompson on Hollywood blog here.