First Annual Report: Season 1948-49

TORONTO FILM STUDY GROUP

First Annual Report

The Society’s 1948-49 Season, which commenced with the first screening on October 25th 1948, and which will conclude on May 30th 1949, has been highly successful both financially and in the Society’s aims and objects.  Throughout the year the membership has been fairly consistent, averaging 250 people, and to date, six screenings have been shown at the Rooyal Ontario Museum Theatre, with two more to be shown to complete the Season.  The major films shown were: – The Blue Angel – Ivan the Terrible – Janosik – The Battleship Potemkin – The World is Rich – Film and Reality – and Hue and Cry.  Still to be shown are Kameradschaft – Zero de Conduite and A Nous La Liberte.  The Directors hope to be able to increase the number of screenings next Season to ten, perhaps twelve, for the same subscription fee of $6.50.

Negotiations have been in progress since last October for permission to use the name National Film Society – Toronto Branch.  The Toronto Film Study Group is now affiliated with the National Film Society of Canada, with head office in Ottawa.  The delay in the use of the title, National Film Society – Toronto Branch, which, although defunct for the past five years, still holds the legal right to the title.  The Toronto Film Study Group could not take over the charter of the former Society until permission was given by the Directors of the old Society.  This led to long and tedious legal proceedings, which were necessary if the Toronto Film Study Group is to become incorporated under the Companies Act of Ontario as the National Film Society – Toronto Branch.  The Directors fully anticipate a satisfactory settlement by next Season.

Negotiations are also in progress for re-booking the Museum theatre for the 1949-50 Season.  A letter from the Museum authorities states that as other organizations have priority over the Toronto Film Study Group, no assurance can be given that accommodation will be available for the Toronto Film Study Group.  This matter is yet to be settled by the Directors.

Five first year Directors will resign tonight.  They are all eligible for re-election.  The resigning Directors are: Miss Armour, Mr. Campbell, Mr. Viccari, Mr. Engering and Mr. Patterson.  Mr. Patterson was elected to the Board early this year in place of Miss Julia Christensen who resigned.  The five Directors who are elected for two years at the first General Meeting held in October last year, are Gerald Pratley, Roy Clifton, Philip Budd, Dorothy Burritt and Donald Smith.

The Toronto Film Study Group is concerned about the establishment of a Film ARchive for Canadian Films, and has sent a resolution to the Royal Commission expressing the Society’s view regarding the matter.

The total amount of money received during the 1948-49 Season totalled $2025.00.  Expenses amounted to $1369.50 leaving a balance of $655.50.  A detailed financial account will be read at the conclusion of this report.

The Directors of the Board, have, during the past year, searched for different ways in which to bind the membership more closely into an intimate study group, and getting the individual members to discuss with one another the films shown.  The Directors have endeavoured to persuade members not to come to the showings, merely to see the film, and then depart as if they had been to a public theatre.  A friendly atmosphere between members and the Executive is of prime importance to help enjoy and understand films, and although many ideas have been put forward only the discussions at Diana Sweets have, as yet, been tried.  A satisfactory solution to the matter is still being sought.

In concluding the President wishes to thank the retiring Directors for their untiring and enthusiastic support during this formative year, and to also thank Mrs. Dorothy Burritt and Roy Clifton for the valuable assistance they have rendered; Mrs. Burritt for carrying out the complicated procedure required in booking films, and to Mr. Clifton for legal advice and action.  To all other Directors the President is very grateful.  It is hoped the present membership will re-join the Society for its next Season, and if possible, persuade a friend to join also.

The Toronto Film Study Group has every reason to feel satisfied with the progress accomplished last Season, but determined efforts must be made next Season to double the present membership and continue to give strong support to the National Film Society in order to obtain for Canada a Film Institute comparable with the British Film Institute and the New York Museum of Modern Art.  Above all the Toronto Film Study Group, together with other Societies throughout the Dominion, must continue to strengthen the film society movement, to raise and maintain the standard of film appreciation among members, and to help create audiences that will patronise the specialized type of commercial theatres showing films of unusual appeal.  To this end then, The National Film Society – Toronto Branch, dedicates its services for the coming year.

CANADIAN FILM ARCHIVE – aPRIL 1949.

  1.  FILMS ALREADY PURCHASED ON PLEDGE BASIS:

    (That is, films which were purchased when Branches of NFS and Film Study Groups pledged the rental of titles submitted by the Central Office as available for purchase: rental charge was paid in advance of actual purchase.)

    Film and Reality
    Kameradschaft

  2. MONTREAL BRANCH

    has purchased the shorts:

    Mor Vran (Epstein)
    The Hague
    Papageno
    Carmen

  3. NATIONAL OFFICE

    plans to purchase:

    Blood of a Poet
    Italian Straw Hat

    has purchased:

    Conquest of the Pole (Melies)
    Land Without Bread – Bunuel

  4. OTTAWA BRANCH

    plans to purchase:

    Le Million

  5. JOHN CARREAU – Montreal

    plans to purchase:

    L’Atalante
    Zero de Conduite

  6. TORONTO

    is making enquiries about the films – Flaherty’s Nanook of the North and Pabst’s White Hell of Pitz Palu.

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