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31st Annual Conference

Page history last edited by David Lindsay 1 year, 3 months ago

 

Mr Gascoigne welcomed delegates and observers to the Federation's 31st Annual Conference, and commented that we were fortunate to have with us again this year the Minister for Internal Affairs, Sport & Recreation and the Arts, Mr Allan Highet. Mr Gascoigne welcomed Mr Highet. He also extended a welcome to Mrs Highet and to the Parliamentary Under Secretary, Mr Comber. Mr Gascoigne called on Mr Highet to open the Conference and, in doing so, referred to Mr Highet's interest in films.


In opening the Conference, Mr Highet commented that 1976 had been a good year for films in New Zealand. He referred to the passing of the Cinematograph Films Act 1976 by which, he felt, a better climate has been created. He pointed out that film-going is still a major source of entertainment for a fair proportion of the population in New Zealand. He commented that he personally disliked the need for censorship but expressed the belief that the public good must be protected. In saying this, however, he expressed the hope that New Zealand will move towards the maturity of attitude where the abolition of censorship for adults can become a reality. He expressed the belief that the new Act takes a more positive approach.


Mr Highet referred to the death of Mr McIntosh, which saddened many people. Although the decisions made by Mr McIntosh may not have always pleased everyone, he did a good job and it is sad that he was not able to take advantage of the new much improved legislation. Every effort is being made to find the best possible person to replace Mr McIntosh.


Reference was made to the problems of the New Zealand film industry. Mr Highet stated that he was aware of the need for an indigenous film industry staffed by New Zealanders making films, for New Zealanders. He expressed the belief that we have the people capable of making feature films for export - given the necessary financial encouragement. Mr Highet stated his personal commitment to the development of the New Zealand Film Industry and gave an assurance of his total support on this matter.

 

Mr Gascoigne thanked Mr Highet for his address, which was of particular interest to everyone present. Mr Gascoigne commented on Mr Highet's interest in common with the Federation to see the development of a New Zealand based film industry which will work efficiently, without the need for the struggles and personal sacrifice required in the past. He said it was the hope of all present that Government help in this regard would materialise promptly. The news about the reduction in film censorship fees for non-commercial exhibitors is very good indeed as our funds are limited.


Referring to the new censorship legislation, Mr Gascoigne said that the new Act is a much better one, although in some ways it would have been desirable to see things go a little further. Mr Gascoigne agreed with Mr Highet's remarks about Mr McIntosh, and said that although we had had our differences we had developed a degree of mutual respect, and his death had saddened us all. As far as film censorship is concerned, Mr Gascoigne felt that film societies and film festivals now have a much better deal, and he thanked Mr Highet for his particular part in bringing about the new legislation.

 

PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS 1977

 

CHAIRMAN'S ADDRESS 1977

 

SECRETARY'S REPORT 1977

 

PROGRAMME ORGANISER'S REPORT

Lindsay Shelton said that the strength of the film society movement lies in its ability as a co-operative movement to obtain films which would not otherwise be available, and this strength is becoming more valuable now having regard to the restricted selection that is available in the commercial cinemas. There are also, now, firmly based film festivals in Auckland and Wellington which give an opportunity for further new films to be seen. However, such 35mm films are only able to be seen in the main centres, and for this reason an expanded list of 16mm films available from other sources has been included in the new catalogue. Although there is a certain reluctance to include in the catalogue too many of the films which have been shown in recent film festivals, a factor which must be taken into account is that many of the smaller towns do not have an opportunity to view such films. An effort is therefore made to achieve a balance. Mr Shelton suggested that where possible societies should make contact with theatre managers in their area with a view to examining the possibility of being able to screen those films from the festivals which are still available after their festival screenings.


With regard to films for 1978, Mr Shelton said that the $3,000 grant from the Arts Council for classic films was of great value, as up until this time all available funds have been put towards the purchase of new films, whereas it is important that every year's programmes should include some classic titles. Negotiations are now under way with distributors here and overseas regarding classic titles. Another interesting point is that the French Embassy in Canberra, from whom we obtain a number of French films every year, are now including some new films in their catalogue, and it is hoped that we may have access to these.

 

Referring to the administrative side of the Federation, Mr Shelton referred to the involvement this year with the Wellington Film Festival, which, in mid-year, comes at a quiet time in the Federation's programme. This arrangement is also of direct benefit to the Federation in that contacts built up for the Festival are also of considerable use in acquiring films for wider film society viewing. Mr Shelton paid tribute to Mr Gascoigne for the tremendous amount of work done by him on the Federation censorship submission, which he felt had been of incalculable benefit to film societies.


During the discussion on Mr Shelton's report, Mr. Hales from New Plymouth suggested that the majority of societies did not have access to films shown in festivals, which he thought was unfair. It was pointed out that most of the festival films are new 35mm prints and are not available on 16mm, and that efforts are being made to get these films more widely shown while they are in the country. There is the possibility, however, that in those areas where there is a cinema and a sufficiently large audience available, some of the festival films may be available this year. If individual societies wish to pursue this question, then those societies should contact the Secretary soon. Mr. Gascoigne pointed out that in those instances it is important that the exhibitor should be
seen as the person who is in fact putting on the film or there could be licensing problems.

 

The Conference closed at 5.40pm.

 

 

 

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