November 1, 1996

Short Takes, November 1996


Dr. Betsy McLane continued her barnstorming brigade up to the day of the Awards Gala. One week it was the Vancouver International Film Festival's Trade Forum, where she served on a panel for New Filmmakers' Day; the next week it was the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, where she delivered a lecture on the fate of the documentary form in contemporary Hollywood.... Back at the home front, IDA partyman and matchmaker Steven Roche presided over another successful soiree of tips and tales at the IDA Member Mix at Callendar's in L.A.... Two words : P-r-o-d-u-c-t P-l-a-c-e-m-e-n-t

Kudos and shout-outs should be accorded to Rose Martillano for spearheading the IDA Awards process and Kamla Franklin for marshaling the IDA Awards Gala....

IDA Awards Information Now Part of Academy Library

Eighteen boxes, containing files and miscellaneous data on the IDA Awards 1989-94, have been donated to the Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The files include information submitted about filmmakers and films considered for the distinguished documentary awards and for the David L. Wolper Student Achievement Award. The Academy will house the information as part of their Production Files collection, by film title; other materials will become part of the International Documentary Association Collection and reside with the Special Collections Department. All material will be available to scholars and others using the Center resources.

In receiving the donation, Library Director Linda Harris Mehr said: "The collection is a most welcome addition for our library and provides unique and critical information about documentary films as well as [IDA]. We know this material will prove invaluable in to the many researchers who use our facility, and we look forward to making it available for study. We happily accept the responsibility for the care and preservation of the collection."

U.S. Senate Passes Extension of National Film Preservation Act

On September 28, 1996, the U.S. Senate approved the National Film Preservation Act of 1996, reauthorizing and extending the National Film Preservation Board; the bill, previously passed by the House, now goes to President Clinton for his signature. The Board has worked since 1988 to register and preserve classic American films in their definitive versions, including theatrical releases but also documentaries and experimental works; IDA Executive Director Betsy A. McLane is an alternate member of the NFPB. Key to the congressional action was the support of Representative Carlos Moorhead (R-CA) and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT); also instrumental were Congressional Aides Joe Wolfe and Bruce Cohen, NFPB aide Steve Leggett and NFPB Counsel Eric Schwartz. In bringing the bill to the Senate, Mr. Leahy said: "I have been a sponsor and supporter of the National Film Preservation Board since 1988, when we first took action to authorize the Board with in the Library of Congress. We acted then to recognize the educational, cultural and historical importance and the fragile nature of our film heritage. Motion pictures are an important part of the American experience and an extraordinary record of our history, our mores and our aspirations. While there is currently political penchant for chastising American filmmakers for the sex, violence and drugs seen on screen, we should not lose sight of the contributions of filmmaking to our cultural life and our life as a nation." Mr. Leahy also commended "two retiring Senators who have always been champions of the arts, libraries and the public-Senator Alan Simpson (R-WY) and Senator Paul Simon (D-IL)." The preservation efforts of other organizations were also noted: the Film Foundation, Turner Entertainment Company, the UCLA Film and Television Archive, the Museum of Modern Art and the George Eastman House.

Toronto Jewish Film Festival Welcomes New Director of Programming

The Toronto Jewish Film Festival, an international festival of features, shorts, documentaries and animated films that express the diversity of the Jewish experience, announced the appointment of Shlomo Schwartzberg as the festival's new Director of Programming. As part of the festival team, Shlomo will be joining Helen Zukeman (Producer) and Debra Kwinter (Director of Development). Mr. Schwartzberg has been a freelance arts writer, film critic and columnist for such publications as Premiere magazine, The New York Times, Performing Arts magazine, and The Toronto Star.

San Francisco Filmmaker Spencer Nakasako Receives 1996 Steve Tatsukawa Memorial Fund Award

Spencer Nakasako, whose documentary a.k.a. Don Bonus was aired nationwide on P.O.V. this past summer, earned the 1996 Steve Tatsukawa Memorial Fund Award. The award, named for the late Bay Area filmmaker and executive director of Visual Communications, the nonprofit Asian American arts center, goes to the individual who best carries on Tatsukawa legacy of commitment to community service and achievement in representing Asian Pacific Americans in film and television. Nakasako, a veteran producer of Asian Pacific video programs for more than fifteen years, has worked in the Southeast Asian community in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco, training at-risk refugee youth in video production. Nakasako also currently teaches Asian American media studies at U.C. Berkeley.