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By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

New Yorker anti-Normal?: Colleges screening pix without pay

Some college film societies don’t read the warning labels and don’t realize they need a public exhibition license to show DVDs, reports Dave Newbart in the Chicago Sun-Times. “All the students in the Illinois State University Cinema Society wanted to do was get together, watch alternative films largely absent from theaters in Bloomington-Normal, and talk about the movies afterward.” Distributor New Yorker Films found their listings on the internet, and sent along an $8,000 bill for 20 titles they hold shown since 2000. newyorkerfilms84578475.jpg “I would call it a shakedown,” said ISU English professor Curt White, the cinema society’s adviser [and publisher of alternative press FC2]. “The effect of what they are doing is, there isn’t going to be any alternative cinema here.” New Yorker Films, per Newbart, with DVDs available, has “to be extra-diligent these days in enforcing copyrights.” Chicago’s Columbia College can’t afford to run a film club, claiming “the cost of the permission rights are prohibitive.” The student coordinator of ISU’s program, William Barker, “said the group’s budget has never exceeded $1,300, and that went toward promoting events and bringing in speakers. He said the group can’t afford the so-called catalog rates for showing 15 movies a semester. “In good conscience, I couldn’t ask [ISU] for $6,000 to show films,” Barker said.


His group has stopped the showings… New Yorker Films, however, says the university should show that it values film and pay the money. Companies won’t take a risk of distributing alternative films in the United States if they don’t get paid for showings… “If these films aren’t supported, they aren’t going to be released in this country,” Newbart quotes a New Yorker Films rep. [You can download a PDF of New Yorker Films’ stance from their website here.]

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