Seventeen people from various segments of the indie film community met for more than two hours tonight in Manhattan to discuss the current situation at AIVF and the bigger issues being faced today by similar organizations and filmmakers alike. Nearly two weeks ago on this blog, I posed the idea of a town hall meeting of folks to talk about some of these issues and in that time a small group of us set up this smaller exploratory discussion. We agreed that the meeting would be off the record to allow for an open dialogue, but I took a lot of notes to document the general topics and opinions explored. Its a start.
In an email message to the group tonight after the meeting, I explained that for me it was incredibly valuable to hear different perspectives from many segments of the film community. I went into the meeting to listen and learn, to try to better understand what is going on. Mission accomplished.
Clearly, there are no easy answers right now. In fact, some very hard decisions may have to be made at AIVF and at other organizations, whether or not they are currently facing financial crises. Speaking for my own company, indieWIRE, the discussion tonight has already fueled ideas and discussions between myself, my business partner Brian Clark, and others who were in the room. Where it will all lead, I have no idea. Again, its a start.