Central New York Film Consortium

DEC. 17, 2009

10 am –12:30 - Meeting/Discussion

Facilitator: Leo Crandall

Attendees: Colleen Prossner, Amy Shore, Phil Novak, KC Duggan, David Hollenback, Owen Shapiro, Sarah Webster, DM Shepard, Leo Crandall, Michael Church

1. Roundtable Updates. Participants reported on the latest activities, initiatives and progress at their respective institutions.

Colleen Prossner of the Catherine Cummings Theatre at Cazenovia College hosted the meeting. She ensured that participants from within Cazenovia College and the community at large were invited. She welcomed the attendees.

David Hollenback of SUNY Cortland discussed the establishment of a cinema projection space at SUNY Cortland. He described his lobbying efforts particularly the strategy of involving several departments. He attributed the success of the strategy to this broad-based involvement.

David discussed the current budget status. The New York State Legislature has cut the SUNY budget by 90 million dollars. This translates to a 1.6 million dollar reduction at the SUNY Cortland campus alone. This figure represents a 10-15% reduction of the current budget.

David is expanding the film studies program. He has recently added a History of Documentary course. The University cut its film major on Campus. Currently only a minor is offered.

Recently he presented a thematic film series on campus. It was done in conjunction with Dawn Van Hall of the Native American Studies program.

David articulated that there is very little community involvement in campus programming. Notwithstanding he is exploring a partnership with the Homer Arts Council.

Owen Shapiro outlined the activities of the Syracuse International Film Festival (SIFF) since the last meeting. He mentioned the discussion of the certificate program by Patty Zimmerman’s at the October meeting. The festival is adapting that program.

SIFF has been a catalyst for collaboration within Syracuse University particularly between The College of Visual and Performing Arts and the Newhouse School. Collaborative efforts succeed in spite of the administration rather than due to it. The University will offer an intra- department film festival course, taught by Owen and Richard Breyer from the Newhouse School. The course will cover administration, preparation, festivals in general and the Syracuse International Film Festival in particular.

SIFF partners with every major cultural institution din the region. It has established formal relationships with Le Moyne College and Onondaga Community College. Additionally the Festival has formed a partnership with the Oneida Nation.

Owen reviewed the DVD distribution efforts of the festival. Currently SIFF has distributed five titles and has contracts for and additional ten.

KC Duggan, also representing SIFF, outlined its two signature programs, the Power of Film and SyrFilm Presents.

The Power of Film is SIFF’s development of a certificate program. The program establishes a mentoring relationship between college and high school students. SIFF has created a partnership with the Jewish Community Center and programming has taken place at Shoppingtown Mall.

SyrFIlm Presents is comprised a number of different types of events including screenings. On January 23 SIFF will host a DVD release party at the Palace Theater in Eastwood. In February it will screen a new film. In March it presents its annual Oscar party. In April it is bringing in a guest speaker from PIXAR. The head of PIXAR studios is a former student of Owen’s. The PIXAR Event will be open to the community and presented at the Palace Theater. Summer programming is being developed and will include outdoor screenings.

DM (Deborah) Shepard is the President of the Cazenovia College Film Society. There is no film program at the College although some departments present media offerings. The Society wishes to promote the notion of film as an artform. It programs a mini-fest each spring that is open to the general public. It is funded though an allocation from the student government. DM explored the possibility of collaboration with SIFF both for additional screenings and visiting artists. Also in attendance was Michael Church, the Vice-President of the Film Society.

Phil Novak of Le Moyne College began by outlining the history and development of the Film Program. The Communication Program began in the English Department. It focused on radio production, etc. It is now a stand-alone division and is a hybrid of cultural studies and production. The Film Minor resides in the English Department.

Le Moyne collaborates extensively with SIFF. Le Moyne is interested in developing mentoring programs with high schools and has instituted high school competitions within the discipline. The College programs Sidebar Screenings usually with a thematic concern. This concern often has a political dimension that dovetails with the College’s broader interests.

Additional Le Moyne collaborations with SIFF include shared presentations of guest speakers, both filmmakers and members of the industry.

Le Moyne sponsors SIFF screenings monthly on public television during the academic year. Phil reviewed the upcoming programming on WCNY.

Le Moyne College also programs extensively on its own. The College will present Stanley Cavell at the Palace Theater. Its community outreach also includes the documentary “Rebuilding Hope” which deals with the Lost Boys of the Sudan.

Sarah Webster is a volunteer and community activist in Cazenovia. She outlined her role as the liaison for local 501C3 groups. She attends Syracuse ACLA meetings and is affiliated with the Cazenovia Chamber of Commerce.

Amy Shore represented SUNY Oswego. She discussed the development of the Film Program. The Film Major has been in existence for three years. There is a high degree of student engagement. Although initial predictions were for fifteen film majors current enrollees number 150.

The program has limited financial support. Amy referred to it as the DIY Film Major. It is a BA major that includes elements of production and critical analysis.

SUNY Oswego students did very well in the SUNY-wide film competition. Students have also collaborated on a collectively made independent feature.

The film program collaborates with Artswego.

  1. Discussion.

Discussion began with the importance of settling on a name. As result the group is now called Central New York Film Consortium.

The group revisited the primary issues it delineated at the October meeting. These where

To establish an identity and title for group

To codify the interest and direction.

To create a web presence.

To establish a directory of participants.

To make available a profile of each participating organization

To schedule regular meetings, every two months.

We determined that many of the goals should be accomplished online.

A rudimentary PowerPoint file of the WIKI created by Leah Shafer was presented. The address is:

We briefly covered what is a WIKI, creating a WIKI account, navigating though the pages etc. A wiki is a database of pages, which visitors can edit, live. The building blocks are the "comments" from visitors. You can generally edit a page in real time, search the WIKI's content, and view updates since your last visit. In a "moderated WIKI," WIKI owners review comments before addition to the main body of a topic. Additional features can include calendar sharing, live AV conferencing, RSS feeds and more.

We determined that the group could benefit from a tutorial. We will ask Leah to develop one.

Respectfully submitted

Leo Crandall

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