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Finding IFP

Finding IFP

biz_050330ifp.jpgTrying to piece together the story behind the IFP/Los Angeles‘ decision to break off from the other IFPs and “re-brand” itself as Film Independent, or FIND, has been an ongoing challenge. While the news was fairly well known among insiders for months, people directly involved refused to comment on the record. That is until Variety spilled the beans, we followed up with a story, and then Christine Vachon and Ted Hope joined the fray. At that point, people had to talk. The more that officials stalled or asked that we only talk “on background” or “off the record” the more that I became convinced that there was more to the story. And the more I realized that these decisions being made behind closed doors would have at least some impact on the 9,000 or so IFP members around the country.

Its clear to me that the largest IFPs, those in Los Angeles (6,300 members) and New York (2,000 members) are at odds, but the situation seems way more complicated than is worth exploring further right now and the two groups seem to be resolving matters, including the future of Filmmaker Magazine.

That said, I think Jane Minton‘s comments to me yesterday were valuable. In Minneapolis-St. Paul, the IFP is opening a new media center this weekend, and is focused on serving its local community of filmmakers. “I don’t know that it’s going to have this earth-shattering effect on us, it might be one of those things that seems really dramatic, but isn’t,” she told me.

If FIND remains open to joining forces with the other IFPs when necessary, to advocate on behalf of filmmakers, then I suppose it doesn’t matter what they call themselves, but it will probably take old folks like me a bit of time to get used to this new name.

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