February 9, 2004

 

 

Dear Members, Friends and Supporters of BFVF,

 

The past year has been an extremely difficult period for the Boston Film & Video Foundation (BFVF).

 

We began 2003 with high hopes that with hard work, community involvement, and a strong, timely message we could reinvigorate BFVF and lift the organization to a new level of service and relevance.  While we were able to continue many of BFVF’s hallmark programs—including Meet the Director, Rough Cuts, the New England Film & Video Festival, and our catalogue of course offerings—our finances, which were precarious for many years, continued to worsen.

 

The continuing downturn in funding for the arts, adversely affecting non-profit arts organizations across the nation, had an especially negative effect on BFVF.  In the past year alone, BFVF’s annual contributed revenue declined by more than $70,000, which we were unable to make-up from other sources despite hundreds of volunteered hours and the deep commitment of the board, staff, and friends. 

 

We cut costs and overhead wherever we could.  We moved from offices on Boylston Street to smaller, less expensive space.  We laid-off staff, always a painful step.  Throughout it all, we continued to seek funding from foundations, individuals, and shrinking government resources, but with very limited success.

 

In January, after closely reviewing the organization’s worsening financial situation, the board of directors voted not to offer another course catalogue, and to dissolve the organization, ending 28 years of service to Boston filmmakers.  Accordingly, BFVF’s counsel was instructed to dissolve BFVF.  It will no longer exist.  This was a hard choice to make but the board was and remains convinced that this was the only responsible course of action.

 

Last week, on February 5th, as part of the board’s continuing effort to find a home for BFVF’s unique programs, the board completed an agreement that allows the Boston Educational Film & Video Association, located at Film Shack, of Roxbury, to take over BFVF’s remaining assets, including the New England Film & Video Festival, which will be presented later this year.

 

Through its support of the area’s independent film and video community, BFVF helped to create one of the nation's most thriving regions for the independent media arts.  During its 28 years, BFVF trained more than ten thousand people, provided support to hundreds of independent film and video projects, and helped to broaden public appreciation and support for independently produced film and video.

 

BFVF was stubborn in its insistence on being non-exclusive and pan-institutional.  The organization reached out to all segments of the New England media-making population, offering encouragement to those seeking to develop their skills and tell their stories.  BFVF vigorously supported the notion that the independent media arts could be a force for social justice, fairness and equity in our society.

 

We are hopeful that the new Boston Educational Film  & Video Association will carry this legacy forward into a new era of creativity and prosperity for the independent media arts community of New England.

 

It has been an honor to serve as part of an organization with such a rich and storied history.  It is equally sad that we can no longer keep our door open.  To friends, members and supporters, thank you for all of the support you’ve given this organization over the years.

 

Sincerely,

Llewellyn Smith

President

Board of Directors

Boston Film & Video Foundation

 

Boston Film & Video Foundation