Independent Filmmakers Cooperative of Ottawa

Independent Filmmakers Cooperative of Ottawa

Independent Filmmakers Co-operative of Ottawa (IFCO) is a co-operative that supports independent filmmakers in Ottawa by providing low-cost equipment rentals, workshops, grants, and promotions. Membership fees are $80 ($40 for full-time students) and full membership privileges are granted to members who donate at least 20 volunteer hours in service to the co-operative. [ [ IFCO - Join ] ]

Objects of the association

The stated mandate of the IFCO is to "promote the expression of ideas, values and experience through the medium of film, as well as to establish a permanent filmmaking community in the Ottawa region". [ [ IFCO - Mandate ] ]

According to the IFCO's bylaws, [ [ IFCO Bylaws, 2005 revision] ] the objects of the association are to:
# focus specifically on the cultural aspects of filmmaking;
# foster independent filmmaking and to ensure that complete creative control of works produced is retained by the filmmaker;
# provide equipment, facilities, and funds for the production of independent films by IFCO members;
# nurture beginning filmmakers by providing facilities and instruction for training and to encourage originality;
# promote public interest and awareness of independent filmmaking in the Ottawa area;
# gather and share information relevant to the production of independent films.


Besides membership fees, IFCO raises funds for its programmes through fundraising galas, premiere screenings, and sponsorships from Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, and the City of Ottawa.


IFCO was involved in a brief controversy in 2004 when its selection committee chose to grant $1000 to fund a film by Ken Takahashi. The film, to be entitled "Last Night With Jesse", was to involve a sexual relationship between an adolescent boy and an older man. When word of the grant and the film subject got out following an article by Ottawa Citizen contributor Susannah Sears, who broke the story, there was quick criticism of "public" money funding a film "promoting pedophilia". With city councillors threatening to withdraw city funding and Ontario's Minister of Culture saying that she was "uncomfortable with government funding for any film that depicts a sexual relationship between an adult and a child", the IFCO's board quickly quashed the grant citing concerns about the legality of the film. The IFCO board stated that Takahashi couldn't confirm whether he planned to use a minor as an actor and therefore could contravene a bill, which became federal law July 20, 2005, [ [ Bill C-2] ] that eliminates artistic merit as a defense for those accused of making child pornography.

Takahashi said the issue was "blown out of proportion" and that his movie would not have contained any graphic depictions of sexual relations between a minor and an adult. He described his film as a coming of age story about "a relationship between an older man and an individual coming into sexual maturation". IFCO denied that the public outcry or threats of funding losses played any part in the decision and that they would have likely funded the film with a reassurance from Takahashi that a person of the age of majority would play the part. [ [ Arts - Film about man-boy love refused public money ] ]


External links

* [ Independent Filmmakers Co-operative of Ottawa website]
*Ottawa XPress. [ "Weekend Warriors"] review of IFCO's 13th Annual Gala Premiere.
*CBC Arts. [ "Film about man-boy love refused public money"] IFCO cancelled grant to controversial Takahashi film.
*Legislative Assembly of Ontario Hansard (March 30, 2004). Questions [ 1] and [ 2] to Minister of Culture regarding Takahashi film funding.

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