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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

How Film Societies Grow the Next Generation of Filmmakers

Recently I received an email newsletter from The Northwest Film Center (NW Film Center). There's nothing particularly special about that, I get one at least every month, if not weekly. In fact, I get a lot of newsletters from a variety of "Film Centers" from all over the country. It's a good way to keep up on what's happening where, and I like to write about cool events or special screenings where ever they may be happening. I bet you probably have a film center not too far from you, or at least in the nearest big city to you. Do yourself a favor and seek it out. Not only will you find a wonderful resource for cultural things to see and do, but you'll discover a group of people who actively support and educate the next generation in the skills they need to become tomorrow's artists.

Most of these organizations are a part of a larger institution such as a museum or consortium (an organized group without a brick and mortar home base), or even a local film festival. The North West Film Center is an arm of the Portland Art Museum. The SIE Film Center is part of the Denver Film Society and the Film Center at Lincoln Center is, well, part of Lincoln Center in Manhattan, NYC. These groups are committed to teaching, supporting, and celebrating film in their regional communities. And most of them offer classes in filmmaking. By helping individuals explore their creativity and develop new skills each contributes to the education of the filmmakers of tomorrow through screenings, classes, and many even have youth outreach programs.

Of course, the nature of these film loving support services require most to depend on donations in order to function. And this is where you can help. Seek out your local film society and make a donation. Better still, use the facilities, go to the events, and attend the festivals! That way it's a win-win situation; a little money for them and some film culture for you. If you like it, then do more by giving more or even volunteering, but don't just let another opportunity to do some good for your community go by. You'll feel good, the future of cinema will be better for it, and it's most likely tax deductible. I probably should have said that in the first place. Hope to see you around the center!

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