In addition to watching great film, doing film research (seeing what’s out there) is also right at the top of our ‘things we’d rather be doing’ list. Last year, the LFC was approached by the director of the Moses Greeley Parker Library in nearby Dracut, MA, to partner for an independent film series. It took us mere seconds to say “Absolutely.” After a meeting with their Board of Directors and the Friends of the Parker Library, the idea was officially voted in. Dracut — you’re getting an indie film series!
So what’s involved in setting all this up?
As most of you already know, screening films requires much more than just adding a title to the top of your Netflix queue. Any film that is screened in public requires permission from the filmmaker or distributors and the payment of what’s called licensing. This is the ‘cut’ the filmmaker receives to recoup their costs, or, what the distributor receives for managing the film on behalf of the filmmaker or production studio. Most big-budget films are handled through large or small distribution companies, though sometimes we are fortunate enough to be able to speak directly to filmmakers or producers if a work is independently represented. For the Dracut series, we were fortunate enough to acquire an umbrella license for the library through the Motion Picture Licensing Company (MPLC), which allows schools, colleges, libraries, charities, and many other non-profit or public sector entities to screen an unlimited amount of films for a flat annual fee, providing you select the films from their list of production studios.
Film Research: There’s great film out there
This is the fun part, but it can also take the longest, as cross-referencing films we’d like to screen with the studios represented by MPLC is very time-consuming. Yes, this is how we’ve been spending much of our time in case you’re wondering where we’ve been. But it’s a pleasure to peruse the web world for great film, and there are limitless amounts of movies out there that deserve praise and exposure. So, what gets chosen? For this project, we weigh the requests of the Parker Library and their patrons (a small poll was taken a few months back) and we combine this with variety of filmmaking style and subject-matter. The Parker Library series has no particular theme, so we’re free to go on our instincts.
Film Selection: (Check!)
This is where our project stands: we’ve selected our titles, and now, we submit them to the Parker for their review. In the meantime, the LFC will enjoy screening the films in the privacy of our own home. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to watch all these great movies.
The Parker Library Independent Film Series will run once a month on select Thursdays from fall 2010 to spring 2011. It’s a 6-month trial that will be extended to one full year if the series is a success. And did we mention admission is FREE? What a bargain to see great film with friends and family!
We’ll be sure to keep you posted as the series gets solidified — please stay tuned and help us spread the word!