On July 04 2011 I founded the Institute for the Study & Advancement of the Film Society Movement, Inc.

The Institute’s official forum is @ http://FilmSocietyMovement.org

We will be applying to become an associate member of ACOFS (Australian Council of Film Societies)

The Aims of the Institute as per its Constitution are:

  1. Support the Aims and contribute to the work of ACOFS (Australian Council of Film Societies)
  2. On the basis of one-federation-per-state and one-state-per-federation:
    1. Support the Aims and contribute to the work of Australia’s film society Federations.
    2. Assist in the formation of a Federation in each state that does not have one, in a manner compatible with the duty of ACOFS and its member Federations, that “where no such state federation exists to encourage by all means possible the formation of a state federation of film societies”.
  3. Develop & offer “valuable news, views, knowledge & knowhow” content for film society movement publications.
  4. Develop and offer services and resources to ACOFS, the Federations, film societies (and kindred projects).
    1. Champion the ideals of “Excellence, Independence, Enterprise” across the film society movement.
    2. Foster the spirit and practice of “intellectual adventure” across the film society movement through promoting: serious scholarship; the improvement of critical, constructive, and creative thinking skills; a commitment to lifelong education; activities such as forums, workshops, study groups.
    3. Promote public awareness and appreciation of the personal and social value of these integral components of the film society movement of Australia.
    1. In relation to the commercial for-profit sector, assist in promoting: reciprocal respect and appreciation; friendly relations; mutual benefit; the private sector as common ground.
    2. In relation to the government sector,
      1. contribute to the defence of the rights and interests of the film society movement in relation to laws, regulations, privileges, and practices that may encroach upon such inalienable individual rights as freedom of expression, freedom of association, and freedom of trade, insofar as these rest upon private property rights and self-ownership.
      2. study the positive and negative effects upon the film society movement of government funding, grants, subsidies, and other forms of state assistance.
    3. In relation to the NPV (nonprofit, voluntary) sector, develop friendly relations with other enterprising, independent NPV’s across Australia and worldwide. Promote and celebrate the flourishing of nonprofit, non-government-subsidised groups and projects as indispensable to free, just, virtuous democracies.

As should be evident from the above Aims, the Institute is not in any way in competition with ACOFS or the Federations.

Far from it. It’s members are not film societies. Its members are individuals – volunteers drawn from film societies registered with a Federation which in turn is registered with ACOFS. FiSMoTron members are workers. They are people who believe in the value of the Film Society Movement and who want assist with the actual work that needs to be done by contributing their personal time, energy, knowledge, knowhow, and resources.

Furthermore, as the above Aims make clear, the FiSMoTron not only supports ACOFS and the Federation structure of the Film Society Movement of Australia, it is committed to supporting and strengthen it. The FiSMoTron seeks to offer and provide services and resources to the official, established Film Society Movement.

Aim 6 c. emphasises building relations with NPV’s which are explicitly non-government-subsidised. However, this does not in any way suggest any sort of animosity towards those which are government-subsidsed.

The main idea here is that, for the purposes of clear thinking and practical understanding, successfulnon-government-subsidised organisations need to be treated differently and studied differently from those that are government-subsidised.

Aims 5 b. and 5 c. are concerned with one of the most important commitments of the Institute. The promotion of the “Intellectual Adventure” component of the Film Society Movement is the key to distinguishing it from the commercial cinema sector and to expounding its appeal across all ages. It is what makes the Film Society Movement truly exciting.

However, if misapplied or hijacked by partisan politics, it is also the component which can undermine the Film Society Movement by making it an instrument of propaganda.

The solution is NOT to avoid ideological and political debate.

The solution is to …

  1. Provide open, honest forums where such debates – should there be a call for them – can be conducted in an ongoing and civil manner between those who are interested in such debates.
  2. To not impose such debates on those who are not interested in them.

It is okay to be driven by ideological interests. And it is okay to not be driven by such things. Not only is the Film Society Movement open to all – it positively benefits from the diversity of interests AND disinterests of all.


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