Originally published in CINEWORKS 2000
Edited by Justin MacGregor
Photo illustrations not included in this text page.


CINEWORKS BEGINNINGS

(A PERSONAL CHRONOLOGY)

By Peg Campbell

1979 -- The Vancouver Uncooperative

I'm living in the penthouse suite of a 50's-style walk-up on Barclay Street in Vancouver's West End. I've finally moved off the mountain, graduating with a BA in Communications from Simon Fraser University. I took the degree so I could spend all my time in the then unaccredited, but highly esteemed, film workshop, the sonic studio and the darkroom. I'm making my third production on family violence for the United Way, A Common Assault, a 40-minute drama created in slide/tape. The format was chosen so that communities all over British Columbia could see it and understand that, thanks to changes in the law, the police could now lay charges against an abusive husband and the onus was no longer on the battered wife. This was an era pre-VHS.

It is also the era of punk. I spend my nights at the Smilin' Buddha and other alternative venues, often with a porta-pak, documenting bands and other art events. The camera is light, a single tube, but the video deck is heavy. It uses 20-minute 3/4" videotape; an umbilical cord connects it to the camera. Black and white streaky, grainy video images of pogoing audience members collide with beer spitting, shirt ripping, rolling on broken glass band members.

I am at the Pacific Cinematheque Pacifique every other night, watching experimental films by Stan Brakhage, Michael Snow, and Jon Jost: moth wings glued directly to clear leader; a camera shielded by Plexiglas pushing over breakfast detritus; white squiggles on a black field from a janitor's broom applied directly to celluloid, then exposed by turning on fluorescent lights.

Otherwise I'm at the Video Inn, a video based artist-run-centre below a cheap hotel on Powell Street. I take turns cooking a vegetarian meal for our bi-weekly board meetings, tofu stir-fry being the main choice for all of us. For the Living Art Performance Festival Paul Wong and I curate a programme of experimental films. At the Mondo Arte Cabaret at the Commodore Ballroom I appear as a wedding photographer with the Girl's Club, in a performance where the bridegroom strips and is revealed as female, then dob leopard skin to perform with Dr. Bmte. My father frames the McLean 's magazine photo of Dr. Brute and the Leopard Ladies that graces the cover story about that art event.

Across the country film production, distribution, and exhibition co-ops are being formed. There is a ferment of excitement about the possibility of independent filmmakers controlling all aspects of their flimmaking and not hitting their heads against the brick wall of the Hollywood North mentality and American stranglehold on access to theatres. The Canada Council is funding independent film and encouraging artists to apply.

In Vancouver, different factions of filmmakers are talking to each other about the possibility of forming a film production co-op. There is a strong division of interest between those that make documentaries and the avant-garde.

Natalie Edwards arrives from Toronto to set up a western branch of Canadian Filmmakers' Distribution Centre in Vancouver. CFMDC was started in Toronto by experimental filmmakers who wanted control over distribution of their work, and, frankiy, to create the possibility of distribution for their films. Natalie is on their board and wants to move west with her kids when her marriage breaks up. CFMDC thinks this is a good opportunity to expand. She forms a distribution advisory board of documentary, dramatic, animation, and experimental filmmakers; they sign the constitution and her house on Fir and 7th Avenue becomes CFMDC West.

I receive a call from Gordon Kidd, an experimental filmmaker who lives at PUMPS Gallery, an artist-run-centre on Cordova Street, wondering if I'm interested in discussing the idea of a Vancouver film co-op. Canada Council Film Officer Francoyse Picard has contacted him. She is organizing a mega-meeting of representatives from film and video production, distnbution, and exhibition co-operatives that is being held at Mont St Marie, a Quebec mountain resort. As Vancouver does not have a film co op, Francoyse wants to make sure West Coast filmmakers have representation. She also wants us to be meeting people from the other co-ops as an encouragement to setting up our own co-op.

I contact Madeleine Duff, a film grad from the Vancouver School of Art, and coordinator of PUMPS. Gordon brings in Peter Lipskis, another experimental filmmaker. We agree that word should get out about the potential of starting a co-op and the importance of the meeting in Quebec. Madeleine makes up a poster, featuring Porky Pig, advertising a meeting at the Pacific Cinematheque/NFB screening room on West Georgia, the hook is a screening of Vancouver experimental films. There is an encouraging turn out, so we set up another meeting at Video Inn to discuss specifics.

Then the controversy begins. Many are adamant that we should not form a co-op, opposed because of a fear of being dictated to by "government", or wanting to continue our reputation as West Coast rebels that are not going to conform. Vancouver filmmakers already have a history of not getting along and being divided along genre lines, each thinking the other unworthy. The documentary filmmakers think the experimental film artists are doing "navel-gazing crap" and disdain art for art's sake. The avant-garde think the documentarians are not artists, so beneath consideration. Al Razutis, experimental filmmaker and film instructor at SFU, has written a manifesto against state-subsidized production, distribution, and exhibition maintaining it creates a welfare culture.

ED: For actual text from March 1980 manifesto by Al Razutis see 'Manifesto: Cinema Arts'.
It was written and nationally distributed after the Mont St. Marie conference (to which it also responds) cited below.
The author (XAR) also offers a context / disclaimer on its contents.

We do, however, want representation at the Mont St. Marie meeting so we choose an appropriate name for our non-group, The Vancouver Un-cooperative. Gordon Kidd and Al Razutis are appointed to attend on our behalf. I go as the rep for Video Inn, along with Ross Gentleman.

Gordon and Al report back on their meeting with the co-ops. Gordon has always supported the idea of a co-op. Al is newly convinced that Vancouver could benefit from being a part of a network of communications since there is so much independent film activity across Canada. He was introduced to the Quebec free worker cinema, the Newfoundland rogues and Bruce Elder in Ontario. After much discussion on the way various co ops operate, and in the midst of dissension about the idea of a co-op among individuals that can't get along, a core group starts to form.

1980 - Terminal Cine

Willoughby Sharp, a performance artist from New York, sits in a cage in the attic of the Western Front, banging a tin plate on the bars. Crowds gather in the Lux theatre, watching Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much, running forwards and backwards on two projectors. Paul Plimley plays cacophonous notes on a grand piano, Taki Bluesinger takes photographs from a restricted square in the middle of the room. Live video from everywhere in the artist-run-centre are fed into a bank of monitors. It is all very exciting.

I'm part of the Women's Media Alliance, a group of women committed to documenting on video political and artistic events in Vancouver, such as talks by writer Marge Piercey and visual artist Judy Chicago, and the ground breaking conference Women and Words, held at UBC.

I am working for CFMDC West as Natalie's assistant when I win a Gold Cindy Award and a Singer Award for Most Innovative Use of the Medium from the Information Producers of America in Los Angeles for A Common Assault. It's like a mini-Academy Awards, and I've never seen my name flashed at such a gargantuan size. I am wearing the wrong dress.

The un-cooperative is visited by Francoyse Picard and Joyce Mason from the Canada Council and receives more information on the value of co-ops and what is going on across the country.

It finally dawns on us that we are meeting as often as any other cooperative but without the benefit of being one: no funding, space, equipment, or resources. A decision is made to incorporate under the Provincial Societies act but a co-op needs a name and the "un-cooperative" no longer holds true. Al Razutis argues for Kino-Fist, as a pro-active gesture for a political and cultural organization, in the spirit of Eisenstein as well as the Constructivists that were sent out on trains into the nether regions of Russia after the revolution. Chris Gallagher is opposed to that rhetoric. They shout at each other, stomp around and slam doors. Somehow in the fray, Terminal Cine - after Terminal City, the original name of Vancouver - is chosen. In January 1980 we are officially a non-profit society and charge $25 for membership, $12 for associate members.

Our first board of directors is Byron Black, Justine Bizzocchi, Madeleine Duff, Chris Gallagher, Gordon Kidd, Peter Lipskis, Al Razutis, David Rimmer, and myself. Only Justine and I make documentaries, the rest are experimental filmmakers, we agree the focus of the co-op should be on art films. I am elected President because, according to Al Razutis, I'm seen as politically moderate and not buying into any of the other's arguments.

After more meetings, more tension, arguments, and dissension, our 1980 objectives are hammered out: to provide facilities for the production of independent non-commercial film in Vancouver, with commitment to innovation in the cinematic art form as a priority; to assist in distribution and exhibition of such films; to facilitate public participation in the development of Canadian cultural policy through discussion, research and submissions; to support and arrange public exhibition and workshops aimed at increasing film awareness and knowledge; to encourage the growth of film analysis; and to liaise with local, provincial and national organizations, and societies in furtherance of the above purposes

Natalie Edwards at CFMDC West tries to get the new co-op to work with the Cinematheque and pull together those involved in production, distribution, and exhibition. The PCP thinks they are the granddaddy of us all and doesn't need us young pipsqueaks in production and distribution.

We decide to share a space with Natalie and the Canadian Filmmakers' Distribution Centre West. Madeleine Duff finds a perfect, cheap location upstairs on West Pender and Richards. Filmmaker Andy McLean has recently moved from Halifax where he helped create the Atlantic Filmmaker's Co-op. He is looking for a film community to join, reads about the co-op in the newspaper and meets with us, sitting on the floor of our new, but empty, office/studio. He immediately puts his carpentry skills to good use and builds walls to partition the space into three parts, distribution in the front, a screening room in the middle and our production studio/ office in the back. Our part of the rent is $50 a month.


1981 - Cineworks Independent Filmmakers' Society

We work hard in our tiny office overlooking a spider web of hydro cables in the back alley, getting the co-op going. There is endless paper work and many decisions to make. Bits of donated 16mm post- production gear, mostly from Al Razutis, Madeline Duff, and Peter Lipskis, fill the space. Andy McLean becomes our first equipment co-ordinator and builds each member their own locker and secures the windows from break-ins.

The initial membership is restricted to 25 and the co-op is open only to those who have made at least one film. We want to have filmmakers involved that are active in running the co-op, making films and sharing the limited resources. Everyone is to participate in weekly screenings and discuss their work with each other. There is concern that if the group is larger there won't be enough resources for all and won't be a strong community of people working together supporting innovation in film. It is decided that new members have to be nominated by an existing member and approved by the Board of Directors, after attending two members meetings and being active on a committee. The limit is quickiy reached.

We hold weekly screenings in the CFMDC West screening room and argue some more. No one likes the name Terminal Cine very much, and this preoccupies our meeting time and increases the tension. Terminal was seen as implying death, or end of the national railway, not the notion of a collective. Chris Gallagher feels that the co-op had enough Marxist undertones without needing the heaviness of a Russian name so Al's suggestion of Kino-Fist is again rejected.

Chris comes up with the name Cineworks: it keeps cine, the part of the name we all like, and incorporates the idea of the worker, appeasing Al. The board agrees and we swiftly file a name change to Cineworks Independent Filmmakers' Society. Madeleine Duff designs the logo, (which is still in use today), stationary is printed, and, having been incorporated for a year, we apply for and receive our first Canada Council grant for film co-operatives, $30,000.

Francoyse Picard is happy - since the Atlantic Filmmakers Coop, Newfoundland Independent Filmmakers Co-op and the Winnipeg Film Group have been established for a few years, Cineworks is the first co-op to study the other co-ops and make informed decisions as to which aspects are suitable for our constitution and policies. We are able to learn from others' experiences.

We hire our first paid coordinator, Fran Isaac and set her to work fundraising, raising our profile, and improving life for independent filmmakers.

Al Razutis shoots the first film in the Cineworks space, Wild West Show. Even though he has the flu, he spends three days doing optical effects. In the process he gets locked in the space, a key is needed to unlock the front door and he doesn't have one, so he shoots through the night. When the film comes back from the lab all black he realizes the shutter was closed the whole time, so he shoots it again.

Cineworks first major project is organizing a West Coast Independent film package representative of members' films, called Art for Consenting Adults. A national tour of this package is arranged with the assistance of the Canadian Film Institute, financed by the Canada Council and the National Film Board.

We take a strong stand against censorship and include Al's A Message From Our Sponsor. This film had earlier been censored by Ontario's censor board because of pornographic content (the film is a statement equating pornography and advertising) and cut from a National Gallery and Funnel Experimental Film Collective touring package. Sue Ditta, director of the Canadian Images Film Festival in Peterborough, Ontario, organized an illegal screening of the film, and she and Al were arrested. Our package doesn't make it out of Ontario due to continued censorship. The Supreme Court of Canada later threw out the case against Sue and Al.

The other films in the package are: Al's Lumiere 's Train (Arriving at the Station); Chris Gallagher's Nine O'Clock Gun; Michael McGarry's In Black and White; Justine Bizzocchi's Dene Nation; K Michael Will's Psycho Ghost; Shelley McIntosh's Labyrinth; Peter Lipskis' Spare Parts; Gordon Kidd's Wave Prelude; Richard Martin's Diminished; and David Rimmer's Al Neil/A Portrait.

We meet constantly to show each other our films, plan what equipment is needed, create policies for the co-op, and do all the other business that goes with having a group of people make decisions together. There is a tremendous amount of infighting. In this democratic co-op everyone gets to put their position forward and is supposed to listen carefully to others opinions. This leads to frustration for many when wild ideas get brought out, like Chris Gallagher wanting to build a Zeppelin that could float over English Bay as a screen for independent films. Everyone is fiercely independent and not interested in collaboration.

David Rimmer is teaching at the SFU Film Workshop and tells his students about Cineworks. They are concerned that there is no real television or film industry in Vancouver and what is there is seen as a closed shop. They want somewhere to go after film school and Cineworks seems to be the ideal place - except for its policies. Jim Hamm sees the rules as elitist and undemocratic and makes plans to upset the "clique". The others think that Jim is just being engaged in the revolution but do want to join the co-op. Bruno Pacheco, Russell Stephens, Marek Cieszwski, Tom Turnbull, Randy Rotheisler, and Jim come down to Pender Street and start to attend meetings.

At the same time, Debbie McGee wants to join the co-op to make her first film, Little Mountain, but is prevented by the criteria of having made at least one film and the ceiling of 25 members. Debbie is from Ottawa where she was involved in organizing film events with the Canadian Film Group, she is doing graduate studies at SFU in communications. She makes a strong case to be included and the membership votes to change the policy. The doors are opened and Debbie and the graduates from the SFU film workshop are admitted. Debbie discovers that one of the good things about being at a co-op is that you're not regarded as insane when you say you want to make a film but don't have any money.

As our first lobbying effort, Al Razutis, Randy Rotheisler, and I present a Cineworks brief on the state of independent film to the Federal Government's Applebaum-Hebert Commission on the status of Canadian culture.

I am invited to the Canadian Images Film Festival, which focuses on women's international cinema, and am thus introduced to the work of Sally Potter, Chantel Ackerman, Marlene Gorliss, and Margaretta von Trotta, as well as the women from the co-ops.

Co-op members from across the country are starting to know each other due to the Mont St. Marie meeting and all the film festivals. Personal and professional bonds are made. We come to a decision to form a national organization of film co-ops, the Independent Film Alliance du Cinema Independent (IFACI). The bilingual name is in keeping with the political reality of two solitudes of Quebec and Canada. Duly funded by Canada Council we plan to meet yearly, rotating through all the communities that have co-ops. Our primary mandate is lobbying and we have great impact, making the NFB, CBC, and Telefilm (then called CFDC) aware of alternative, independent filmmaking and the need for their support and recognition of our films. Many long-distance romances are created as well, an added bonus to the
many hours of hard work.


Merit Jensen, from the Winnipeg Film Group, and I, on behalf of Cineworks, speak up from the audience at the Toronto International Film Festival Trade Forum panel on low budget filmma.king. We protest the CFDC saying that low budget feature films start at $5 million. We ask when they will consider independent features made for $5000, or at the most, $50,000. We are seen as cute and I am given a meeting with the CFDC the next day. After being dangled for hours I walk out with a commitment of $15,000 in development money for a feature I am producing with Ric Beairsto and Harvey Crossland, Taking It To The Streets.

1982-85 National Film Day

The year starts with the board of directors being Helena Cynamon, Michael McGarry, Debbie McGee, Shelly McIntosh, Andy McLean, Bruno Pacheco, and myself. Discussion centres on how to make Cineworks members become more involved with the co-op. Helena says it needs more "soul".

Membership quickly expands. We decide that potential members have to put in 40 hours of volunteer time to demonstrate their commitment to the co-op and also to get things done. However, it is not enforceable. Randy Rotheisler takes over from Andy McLean as equipment coordinator. What little we have is stored in Randy's basement.

Fran leaves the co-op and Ric Beairsto and I talk Debbie into becoming the second coordinator in February of 1982. To take the position, she has to resign from the board.

Debbie is organizing National Film Day, as she had worked on this festival in Ottawa. Annie O'Donaghue assists her. The original idea was to have it be an annual national celebration of Canadian film, with each province holding its own events, organized by the film co-ops.

National Film Day is the first joint venture between PCP and Canadian Filmmakers Distribution West (the now autonomous distribution centre that broke away from CFMDC). Over the five years it is held, each organization will take turns putting on the festival.

In the weeks preceding the festival downtown theatre line-ups are given fact sheets on the difficulties Canadian filmmakers face. On June 26 the first National Film Day is held at Robson Square cinema. Admission is free. It is an instant hit.

The day begins with films for children by Al Senns, Bill Maylone, and Marilyn Cherenko. The afternoon presents Quota Quickies and Historical Films (Back to God's Country and Lucky Corrigan), programmed by Colin Browne and featuring live piano music. At 6 p.m. there is a programme of independent films by Al Razutis, Chris Gallagher, Tom Braidwood, Peter Lipskis, Gordon Kidd, Randy Rotheisler, Richard Martin, and Mo Simpson. At 7:30 there are animated films by Mary Newland, Dieter Muller, Katherine Li, Jim Cowan, Bettina Maylone, Shelley MacIntosh, and John Penhall, followed by the world premiere of David Rimmer's Shades of Red. The evening closed with the NFB short Cinderella Penguin and Don Shebib's feature Heartaches, starring former Vancouverite Margot Kidder.

As younger filmmakers that have fewer resources became involved with the co-op, it becomes imperative to acquire production equipment. Initially a Nagra 4.2, Sennheiser microphone, and basic lights are purchased. The NFB accesses cameras to independent filmmakers, but only if they have experience. Tom becomes our third equipment coordinator.

It becomes evident that training workshops are needed. Jim Hamm becomes the first education chair.

These workshops are held: Wayne Sterloff (an independent filmmaker who later became head of BC Film) on Financing and Production Management, and also on computer-assisted live-action animation; an in- depth workshop on model animation with Bill Maylone; Cinematography with the NEB's Eugene Boyko; and Producing and Editing, both with the NFB's George Johnson.

Debbie gets a scholarship and resigns to focus on her own work and our third coordinator is hired, Jeannine

Mitchell. She lasts only a short time. Fortunately Meg Thornton, general manager for Trinity Square Video moves from Toronto in 1983 and agrees to work for Cineworks. Meg studied film and video at the Ontario College of Art.

Post production equipment is seen as a priority as editing is a lengthy process. We raise matching funds for the Canada Council Steenbeck Purchase Program in 1983. Marek starts editing on the Steenbeck before Andy's negotiations to pay for it are complete.

Debbie's film, Little Mountain, becomes the first film to be called a Cineworks production. It documents the NDP provincial election campaign in the area of Vancouver called Little Mountain. As this is her first film, Deb asks members of the co-op every question she can think of, from lighting requirements to budget considerations. Everyone is generous with their time. Even with all the fighting at meetings, the members are people who love film and get pleasure from sharing the knowledge they have accumulated. Tom Tumbull is the cinematographer and Julie Warren records sound. Deb Rurak edits it in our back room. Little Mountain becomes controversial for some of the original Cineworks members as it is not an "art" film.

Michael McGarry edits David Hauka's film Solus, choreographed by Grant Strate and featuring the National Ballet's Owen Montague.

With productions under way, membership expanding, and resources stretched to the limit, we want to move. CFDW and PCP are also looking for more space. A Cineworks member, Helena Cynamon, meets a man at a party who asks her if she has a cause. She has Cineworks and he offers her a building. It turns out that he is a developer with First Canadian Land and he wants to cash in on Vancouver's development bonusing scheme, where if you give a space to a community organization, the city allows you to build a taller building. His is at Howe and Helmcken.

Cineworks, CFDW, and PCP form the Pacific Cine Centre Society, chaired by Grant Strate and myself. Production, distribution, and exhibition of independent film will be under one roof. We hire Michael Bjornson as our architect and so begins many years of meetings, negotiations, and blood, sweat, and tears. This project raises Cineworks' profile and changes the perception of it as an exclusive club. New sources of funding from three levels of government open up because of the relationship between the three organizations. It is a massive effort by a core group of people to get the Cine Centre created.

One day in 1984 a young man, Gary Young, wanders into Cineworks and wants help to make a film about the Cambie Street Bridge. This was not a topic that immediately grabbed anyone's attention until he describes to Bonni Devlin how historic the swingspan device was and that it was to be removed in the expansion. He gives Bonni his research and archival photos of the bridge and goes on holiday to
Ontario. Bonnie receives a call from the police: her business card has been found on Gary's body after he had a motorcycle accident. To fulfil his wish and in his memory, Cineworks members agree to make the film he proposed. Bonni and Stephen DeNure produce the film and Bruno Pacheco directs, creating the innovative documentary, Swingspan. It is funded as part of the 1985 Centennial Projects for the City of Vancouver.

In 1984 Cineworks premieres four of our members' films to over 900 people at the Robson Media Centre and the Vancouver East Cultural Centre: Debbie McGee's Little Mountain; David Hauka's Solus; Bruno Pacheco's The Sentencing Dilemma; and Christine Wong's and my video, Inside/Outside, on strategies for youth dealing with racism.

National Film Day in 1984 is coordinated by PCP and features over 20 films representing almost every region in Canada. Over 1000 people attend and view a 1934 archival feature, Secrets of Chinatown, and the world premiere of Hoppy: Portrait of Elizabeth Hopkins, by new Cineworks member Colin Browne. Annie O'Donaghue screens Room to Rent and Debbie shows Little Mountain.

The 1985 board is Jim Hamm, Marianne Kaplan, Marcia Kredentser, Josie Massarella, Raymond Massey, Deb McGee, Bruno Pacheco, Russell Stephens, and myself.

Finally, a used Eclair NPR sync camera, a fluid head tripod, and additional lighting is bought.

Cineworks announces it will produce a workshop production that will involve many of the members in crew positions. I submit a proposal for a film that can be shot in one night, handle a crew of 25 and feature many Vancouver actors. It's A Party is shot in one night in my apartment, with Tom Tumbull on camera. This fly-on-the-wall point of view of a party is a winner at the Northwest Film and Video Festival, a Genie Award nominee, and is broadcast on CBC, PBS, and A&E. It is invited to the Toronto Film Festival and has a two week run at the Ridge Theatre, complete with marquee.

The 1985 National Film Day is a fundraiser for the Pacific Cine Centre. It has a focus on the interests, concerns, and problems of youth and is the world premiere for my film, Street Kids.

Russell Stephens completes Cineworks' first feature, Regeneration, after five years of work. Cineworks' members hold most of the crew positions.

The Canada Council starts a fund for bringing in visiting artists. This allows us to bring in many filmmakers that we are eager to meet. Toronto filmmakers Holly Dale and Janis Cole hold a workshop on funding and distribution; British director Sally Potter (Thriller, Golddiggers, Orlando), gives a workshop for the women - members on problems women filmmakers face; Montreal filmmaker Martin Duckworth gives a five day workshop on investigative documentary filmmaking; and Thomasz Pobog-Malinowski, one of Poland's foremost film directors. He was expelled from Poland when martial law was imposed in 1982, and went to Britain as a political refugee. He then produced films for BBC and Channel 4. His workshop focused on the benefits of censorship.

Workshops run by locals included Images of Women in the Media with Media Watch; Scriptwriting with Vancouver writer Christian Bruyere; Editing with Haida Paul; Sound Recording with Rick Patton; Advanced Lighting with John Houtman; and Titles and Graphics with Svend-Erik Erikson.

We move into the Pacific Cine Centre on Howe Street in December and hire Cam North as our first paid equipment coordinator.

1986 - The Pacific Cine Centre

The official opening of the Cine Centre is during the year of Expo and we celebrate by holding National Film Week. Marcel Masse, then Minister of Communications and Pat Carney, MP for Vancouver, cut the ribbon. The first features of Atom Egoyan (Next of Kin) and John Paiz (Crimewave) premiere. Panel discussions with Michael Snow, Joyce Wieland, and many other illustrious experimental filmmakers were a highlight. Al Razutis, Scott Haynes, and Doug Chomyn screen Splice, the film that will never be seen again as it goes through bleach as it winds through the projector. A film of the same name is later released that includes footage of the avant garde panel. Al causes tears from many as he spray-paints the theatre, saying filmmakers should be in ghettos not pristine corporate buildings, that art can't be created in this kind of space. He resigns from his position of professor at Simon Fraser University that night, when I confront him with that contradiction.

ED: The above paragraph contains factual assertions that are incorrect - (as per XAR links provided):
see Razutis - SFU resignation letter for true dates and reasons.

No assertion that "filmmakers should be in ghettos" was ever made by Razutis and the reported verbal exchange with the author never occured as stated. Co-creation of a number of distribution and exhibition orgs by Razutis would contradict by example any such call to ghettoize filmmakers. See Education - Organization chronology for examples of activities.

Fed up with the endless fighting at meetings and the routine of decisions being made by one faction and undone by another, I resign from the board at the AGM. I feel like I've spent far too much time on administration and facilitation and would have accomplished more if I hadn't put so much time into Cineworks. And then I miss it - but not for long.

And now it's 2001

Cineworks has continued to expand and improve due to the hard work and devotion of the members and staff. The Cine Centre has become too small for all that is going on at the co-op. Production has increased, equipment is state (of-the-low-budget) art and more and more people are applying for membership. Cineworks is healthy, vibrant organization that offers much to independent filmmakers looking for community and a place to make their films the way they want to with the resources they can afford.

My memory of Cineworks history has been jogged by the very helpful but sometimes contradictory memories of: Justine Bizzocchi, Madeleine Duff, Natalie Edwards, Chris Gallagher, Jim Hamm, Debbie McGee, Andrew McLean, Francoyse Picard, Al Razutis, Meg Thornton, and Tom Turnbull. My apologies for the mistakes and omissions that are in this account.

Here is what they are up to now:

· Justine is freelance consultant in research and marketing for projects involving media and technology.
· Madeleine is a script supervisor with IATSE and directs video poetry with a local collective.
· Natalie is a journalist in Toronto.
· Chris teaches film production at UBC and directs experimental documentary films.
· Jim produces and directs environmental films.
· Debbie produces educational documentaries for the Memorial University of Newfoundland and is a board member of the Newfoundland Independent Filmmakers Co-op.
· Andrew is a production manager in the industry and has his own business, Parallel Films, a supplier of locations equipment.
· Francoyse is Special Projects Manager with CIDA Development Information.
· Al splits his time between Saturna Island and California, is working on Virtual Reality and speech recognition. And by the way, he now agrees that Cineworks is the best name for the co-op, KinoFist would have been too provocative and wouldn't have got any support, except in Montreal.
· Tom works for Gajdecki Visual Effects, primarily in Toronto.
· Meg, who was hired in 1983, is still with Cineworks, now with the title of Executive Director. Her presence,
along with long time Equipment Coordinator Jurgen Beerwald, continues to give great stability to the co-op and has contributed to its success. Proof of this is Cineworks' membership now stands at 250 with a yearly budget of $300,000.
· I've been teaching film production and scriptwriting at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design since 1986, as well as directing documentary and dramatic films when not spending time organizing and going to Board meetings.

I'll give the final words to Al Razutis, he gives best wishes to all, and says "we had our differences but the doing of it is all to our credit."

Peg Campbell, 2001



A Critical Perspective on Cineworks from July 2001: 'Why Cineworks?
by Flick Harrison - critical online essay

Vancouver Film History Essays