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Porto 2001

MINUTES OF GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF IFFS
Held in Porto, Portugal, 7th April 2001


Present :
Executive Committee:Robert Richter, Peter Cargin (Vice Presidents); Jon Iversen (Treasurer) Eva Kacherova, Bernt Lindner, David Phillips, Astrid Friberg, Janine Bertrand, Paolo Minuto, Martha Otte

Delegates with voting rights:
Jiri Kralik (Czech Republic); Andre Oliveira e Sousa (Portugal); Golam Biplob (Bangaldesh);Eva Lindfors (Sweden)Bernt Lindner (BJV,Germany ) Robert Richter(Cinelibre), David Phillips (UK), Janine Bertrand (UNICC, France), Ole Petter Bakken (Norway), Paolo Minuto (FICC,Italy), Massimo di Grandi (UCCA,Italy), Frank Vendelb (Denmark)

Also Present:
Anna-Stina Nystrom (Auditor),Marti Porter (Catalan) , Judit Benyei, Laszlo Frazakas (Hungary),Joao Artur Pinto, Fernando Speitao Corereia, Armanda y Cunha Santos (Portugal), Max Signorel (FCCM,France), Anxo Santomil Garcia, Angel, Rodrigues Taus, (Galician Federation), Greta Barbolini (UCCA)
Apologies:
Theo Angelopoulos (President), Ronald Shields (Honorary Vice President), Juan Carlos Arch ( Executive, Latin American Group), Irish Federation of Film Societies, Polish Federation.

The Executive Committee suggested that Martha Otte, Norway, Nordic Group Representative should take the chair of the meeting and that Peter Cargin, UK Vice President should take the minutes. Jon Iversen, Treasurer,Norway would issue voting cards to a delegate of all full paid up members present.
This was agreed.

1. The Minutes of the meeting of the last General Assembly in Cottbus , November 6th 1999 had been distributed by email and handed out at the meeting and were approved.

2. Matters Arising. There were no matters arising.

3. Vice Presidents Report This had been circulated before the meeting in written form. It was suggested that consideration be given to making a more general report on the state of IFFS and film exhibition in future, in addition to the record of work undertaken by the VPs. See attachment

4. Treasurerıs Report Jon Iversen presented his report which was circulated. There were no questions. The treasurer was not proposing any change to the current membership fees. See attachment

5. Auditors Report Anna-Stina Nystrom presented her report which found the accounts to be true and correct records of the financial activities of IFFS. See attachment

6. Reports of the Regional Group Secretaries

Central European Group/ Eva Kacherova. This group currently comprises of Czech and Slovak Republics, Poland, Hungary, Ukraine and Baltic Republics. There is good co-operation between Czech and Slovak federations, particularly in film distribution. The major event is the Summer Film School at Uherske Hradiste which this year will take place from 27th July to 5th August with 160 features and 300 shorts due to be shown. Thematic strands will focus on Dance, Dutch films and Film and Eroticism. Delegates are invited to hold a meeting at the Summer School and this could be a possibility for a General Assembly in future. The Polish Federation have started a similar Summer School.

English Language Group/ David Phillips
As it was expected that the Irish Federation would be present to make a report, DP could only give a brief summary of the current situation of the British Federation. Covering the whole of the United Kingdom, there had been excellent schemes run in Scotland for touring films around the Scottish Highlands and Islands, whilst in the South West trials with DVD projection were proving to be very positive. Now that funding matters appeared to have been resolved, the BFFS was launching three funding schemes for film societies, a Capital scheme, a Projects scheme and a Loans scheme. There was continuing interest in forming new film societies. DP had been in contact with the Australian Council of Film Societies.

Latin Group/ Janine Bertrand
This comprised the French UNICC federation and the Portuguese Federation. There had been a new dynamism through contacts with the Galician federation, who had received support of the French consulate in Portugal. On the matter of UNICC, the situation was not perhaps as pessimistic as JB had mentioned at an earlier presentation. Film clubs are the counter power to the commercial sector and offer cultural diversity. UNICC has a catalogue of some 3000 films, including films they acquired the non commercial rights for. There were some 2000 screenings in a year which give the financial base for the federation to operate, since they receive little in the way of subsidy.

Mediterranean Group/ Marti Porter
MP said that there were some contacts between federations in the group on an informal basis. Marti was reporting since nothing had been heard from the Group secretary, Manolis Stavrokakis, for some while.

Nordic Group/ Martha Otte
The group has informally expanded to include Finland and Denmark, although it had not been able to arrange an official group meeting. The group had strong representation on IFFS.

Latin American Group/ Juan Carlos Arch
In sending his apologies JCA had intimated that he wished to continue to work with IFFS. He gave some details of an experiment in Argentina of distribution of films by satellite to film clubs, initially one in San Paolo. It was generally very difficult to get suitable films for film clubs .

There were no reports from Asian, Arabic or African Groups

7. Reports of those with Special Duties Jury Report/ Astrid Friberg IFFS juries were working well in general. Paid up member Federations were encouraged to submit candidates for future juries.

Childrenıs Films/ Bernt Lindner
His own federation in Germany, BJV had 1200 member groups, which meant some 120,000 spectators. They had a 16mm library with 350 feature films. They conducted film workshops and seminars. BL asked that delegates send reports to him regarding work in children and youth films in order for him to make report to the next General Assembly on the situation in this section of film work.

It was agreed that in future there would be a change regarding the question of the Special Duties posts, in future people would be appointed by the General Assembly and would have voting rights on the Executive. IFFS Festival/Paolo Minuto There had been two editions of the festival in Reggio di Calabria,including a childrenıs film section. The festivals had been more than film screenings, and had become a central focus for film society delegates to meet.
He indicated that the Italian Federation, FICC , wished to continue with the festival but due to financial constraints this yearıs festival which was planned for 3rd-6th October would have to be smaller in order to be stronger for the future. There would be no International Showcase this year. There could be an IFFS Executive meeting in Reggio. They were looking for support from other Italian federations. He hoped that it would be possible to offer Reggio as a venue for a future General Assembly.

8. Distribution Report/ Robert Richter
RR gave a background to the establishment of the network idea, from its beginning in Biel, through Thessaloniki and Cottbus General Assemblies. The idea was for the project to link with IFFS jury work, with films receiving "Don Quixote" prizes being promoted for possible distribution among federations. Three films, A Domani, Clouds of May and Banou, as well as a retrospective of the work of Darius Merjui had been offered to film federations for possible distribution, but there had been few responses two negative ones for the three films but some positive responses for the Mehrjui retrospective.
The Network Group made the following proposal which could be discussed and voted on later:
1) That the Group continue to work to meet the needs of federations for more films and the links with "Don Quixote" winners.
2) That a new group be formed of Janine Bertrand, Bernt Lindner and Robert Richter- for approval by the Executive - Eva Kacherova indicated she would assist on an informal basis in required.
3) That the previous budget of SFR4000 which had not been used should again be available for the group to use in whatever way they considered appropriate.

9. Approval of the Reports
All the reports were unanimously approved by the General Assembly.

10. Approval of New Members
The Bangladesh Federation of Film Societies were approved as a full member 9 votes for/ 0 against/0 abstentions The Tallahassee Film Society (USA) were approved as an associate member 10 votes for/ o against/ 0 abstentions Janine Bertrand asked that the General Assembly approve the Galician Federation as full members. Delegates from the Galician federation were present. She presented a formal request and the GA voted 10 for/0 against/0 abstentions that they be admitted subject to there Constitution being submitted and found satisfactory and payment of the membership fee.

11.Proposed New Constitution
Peter Cargin who had together with Bernt Lindner worked on the preparing the new constitution apologised for the fact that there was a mistake in the English version. In Article 8 the reference to Group Secretaries should be deleted. He reminded delegates that the French version , which was correct was the ultimate valid version. Max Signorel raised the question of Associate membership - David Phillips and Janine Bertrand both pointed out that the new constitution was attempting to make membership open to all and provide the same rights to all members.

The General Assembly then went through the new articles. Article One - Approved Article Two - the word "Roman" was added to make it clear as to which year was referred to. Article 3 /4/ 5/ 6/ 7/ 8 - Approved (with the deletion of c) in the English version.

Article 9 - the words "in writing to the Vice Presidents" were added to the final sentence of the article. Approved.

Article 10 - Approved

Article 11. The following was approved.

The General Assembly shall:
a) Approve the minutes of previous the General Assembly
b) Admit and expel members
c) Fix the amount of membership fees and approve the balance sheet of income and expenditure accounts as audited.
d) Discuss and approve the programme of activities
e) Decide the number and size of groups
f) Elect a president, vice presidents, a treasurer (the officers) an auditor and remaining members of the Executive Committee. Reelection shall be possible. The number of additional members for special tasks shall not exceed the number of officers and group secretaries.
g) Decide on any alterations to the Constitution.

Article 12. The following was approved.
Composition of the Executive Committee The executive committee consists of the officers, and as many group secretaries as there are groups recognised by the General Assembly and such additional members for special tasks as are elected by the General Assembly. The group secretaries are the delegates of the constituent groups and which take charge of the group secretariats. The members of the Executive Committee are elected for the period between one general assembly and the next and are eligible for reelection.

Article 13. Approved

Article 14. Approved with the addition of new paragraph h)

Recommendations for admission and expulsion of members to the General Assembly.

Paragraphs h, i, j, k are renamed i, j.k.l.

Article 15/ 16 /17/. Approved

Article 18. Second sentence : One out of the treasurer and the vice-presidents, are empowered to sign on behalf of the association in matters concerning these funds upon unanimous agreement in writing. Approved

The General Assembly passed a resolution that the new Executive Committee has to check whether this Article is legally sufficient under French law, "loi 1901".

Article 19 Approved

Article 20. Approved

12) Proposals

A resolution was proposed that:
At the beginning of the General Assembly a record is made of those present and entitled to vote and those who are voting by proxy and those who are voting on their behalf.

Approved by 9 votes for/ 0 against/ 2 abstentions

* Voting cards had been distributed by the Treasurer prior to the meeting to one delegate representing each federation entitled to vote. Votes were counted by the Treasurer.

There were two proposals regarding the length of office of officers - David Phillips proposed that this be limited to 3 periods; Massimo de Grandi proposed an amendment to no more than 2 periods.
First proposal that² No person shall occupy any officer post more than 6 years or three general assemblies whichever is the longer.
Second proposal/amendment that ³ No person shall occupy any officer post more than 4 years or two general assemblies whichever is the longer.

Vote on second proposal/amendment:
2 for/7 against/2 abstentions. Proposal lost
Vote on first proposal
4 for/ 6 against/ 1 abstention Proposal lost

David Phillips proposed the following resolution.
That IFFS effect an Insurance policy for members of the Executive. This should be investigated and if necessary acted upon by the Executive Committee.

11 votes for. Carried

A final vote was taken on the new statutes

10 votes for/ 0 against/ 1 abstention.

13. Groups
There was a general discussion about groups. It was asked how many groups actually exist and whether federations had to form groups.

Mediterranean Group - Massimo de Grandi had been appointed secretary of the group. It would remain the same as the existing Mediterranean Group, although there had been little news from the Greek federation. They would try to integrate Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.

Central European Group - This would comprise Czech Hungarian and Slovak Federations. Ivo Andrle was appointed Group secretary.

Latin Group - This would comprise Portugal, UNICC, and Galicia. Janine Bertrand was appointed Group secretary.

Asian Group - No appointment as yet- but Bangladesh were interested in taking on Group secretary role.

English Language Group. No appointment yet. David Phillips said he would contact new secretary of Irish Federation and advise within three months.

Deadline for other Groups to advise names of their representatives was agreed as one month.

14. Election of Members of the Executive Committee
Theo Angelopoulos was proposed as President.
Votes for 10/ Against 1/ Abstentions 0

It was suggested that the Executive should invite suggestions for President before the next General Assembly. Paolo Minuto said that he had met Angelopoulos last year who said that he was proud to be IFFS President.

Vice Presidents.
Peter Cargin advised the meeting that the post of Vice President was a working post and not just a title - following the departure of Jean Pierre Brossard who had been a partly paid General Secretary, the administration of IFFS had very largely passed into the hands of the Vice Presidents.
The Executive Committee proposed three Vice Presidents, Peter Cargin, Robert Richter and Paolo Minuto. The latter in recognition of the work he is doing for IFFS in connection with the international film festival and to give him more authority in this activity.
David Phillips suggested that nominations should be invited for the Vice Presidents in future - also that the Special Duties should in future carry job descriptions for the Executive Committee. Andre de Sousa warned of enlarging the Executive Committee to much, there could be more committee members than IFFS members.
Two suggestions were proposed in connection with the Vice Presidents - that there should be 3 Vice Presidents or that there should be 2 Vice Presidents and an Administrator. Peter Cargin indicated that he would be happy to stand down as a Vice President in the Assembly wished.
The vote for 3 Vice Presidents was 3 For/ 0 Against/ 7 Abstentions. Three Vice Presidents were thus appointed - Robert Richter, Paolo Minuto and Peter Cargin.

Treasurer.
The Executive Committee proposed Jon Iversen.
Votes 9 For/ 0 Against/ 1 Abstention
Jon Iversen was appointed Treasurer

Auditor
The Executive Committee proposed Anna-Stina Nystrom
Votes 9 For/ 0 Against/ 1 Abstention
Anna Stina Nystrom was appointed Auditor

Special Duties
The Executive Committee proposed Astrid Friberg as Jury Administrator and Bernt Lindner as responsible for Childrenıs Films Votes
10 For/ 0 Against/ 1 Abstentions
Carried

Proposal for Distribution Project
Votes for 5/ Against 3/ Abstentions 3
Carried

Next General Assembly
Two possibilities had been suggested - Reggio di Calabria (Italy) or Summer Film School in Czech Republic.

For the meeting in Reggio this year, Martha Otte proposed organising, together with Marti Porter a 5 hour meeting of IFFS delegates on topics which had not been able to covered at the GA. Paolo Minuto agreed to this.

Comments were then made by Marti Porter, that there should be more Œfunı in future events; by Eva Kacherova about the possibilities of a revived IFFS web site; by Paolo Minuto on the question of his appointment as Vice President and by the other two Vice Presidents on the matter of film screenings, the importance of Federations and the increase in the number of juries.

Martha Otte thanked the hardworking interpreters and also the Portuguese Federation for being such good hosts.
Andre Oliviera e Sousa said that he was sorry that their had been a decrease in the number of members present from the last General Assembly, on the other hand it was good to see an increase in representation at film festivals. He also welcomed the Galician federation as new members.

Minutes Produced by Peter Cargin