Re: [Frameworks] Distribution Project at Chicago Filmmakers

From: Patrick Friel (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Oct 25 2010 - 23:08:02 PDT

Hi Steve (and all),

A bit of background:

The core of the collection is much of the old Picture Start collection.
Picture Start was a 16mm shorts distributor located in Chicago that began in
the 1960s and continued until the late 80s or early 90s. The owners decided
to divest themselves of the collection (and move to post-production services
I believe) and Chicago Filmmakers took over the collection around 1991. A
one-time grant was received to publish a catalog, which came out in 1993. At
that time, some additional titles were added to the collection ­ mostly
Chicago work.

So, the Distribution Project collection has been available for rentals for
the last 17 years. But CF never really had any money to promote/publicize
the collection, so it was never as well known as it should be (though Išve
made mention of it here over the years, as have a few others such as Larry

Išve not looked at the website yet, but the rental rates are very
reasonable. Procedures are best addressed to Todd. It was rather informal
when I was handling things, but Todd may have formalized things more.

New titles are not being added, apart from the new preservation prints of
the Allen Ross and Tom Palazzolo films Todd mentioned (these were
preservation efforts by Chicago Filmmakers and spearheaded by Carolyn Faber;
Bill Brand did the preservation of the Ross films).

The collection has titles available elsewhere (Robert Breer for example),
but there are many titles that are not easily obtained elsewhere or are only
available from CF (Larry Cubašs work example).

If Amy Beste is on the list, she likely has more historical background about
Picture Start.

Patrick Friel

On 10/26/10 12:22 AM, "Steve Polta" <email suppressed> wrote:

> Wow! A new rental source! In the twenty-first century!
> Amazing!
> All these new names and titles.
> I never thought I'd see the day...
> I'm curious about the operation...
> Are you seriously renting out 16mm film?
> You're inspecting it and taking care of it and all that? Amazing.
> Any plans to build the collection? Acquire new titles?
> Can one submit one's films for distribution...?
> I'm sure are curious about rates and rental procedures.
> Can't find it on the website.
> How does one go about using these films???
> Inquiring minds want to know...
> In the meantime, three cheers for Chicago Filmmakers!
> --- On Mon, 10/25/10, Co-op <email suppressed> wrote:
>> From: Co-op <email suppressed>
>> Subject: [Frameworks] Distribution Project at Chicago Filmmakers
>> To: email suppressed
>> Date: Monday, October 25, 2010, 3:12 PM
>> Hi Frameworks, I'm the Program Director here at Chicago Filmmakers, new on
>> this list though I recognize a few names. I'm excited to be here! Also, I'm
>> pleased to announce that our Distribution Project catalogue list is now
>> online. The Distribution Project has over 600 short films available for rent,
>> mostly on 16mm and a few on 35mm. The collection is particularly strong in
>> avant-garde animation and experimental work, mostly from the 1970s and 80's,
>> some of which is extremely rare. Animators represented include Skip
>> Battaglia, Robert Breer, Sally Cruikshank, Larry Cuba, Paul Glabicki, George
>> Griffin, Emily Hubley, Susan Pitt, and Osamu Tezuka among others.
>> Experimental filmmakers include James Broughton, James Herbert, Dana Hodgdon,
>> Owen Land, Pat OšNeill, Mark Rappaport, and Peter Rose.
>> Newly preserved prints of The Grandfather Trilogy by Alan Ross, and 8 films
>> by local filmmaker Tom Palazzolo are also part of the collection.All are
>> available for rent to universities, museums, cinemas, film societies, and
>> other venues through Chicago Filmmakers.You can find the complete catalogue
>> list on our website:
>> We are thrilled that a program of Distribution Project films will be
>> represented at the Eyeworks Festival <>
>> in Chicago on November 6, curated by Alexander Stewart.
>> If you have any questions, please contact me at the number or email below.
>> Thank you!
>> Todd Lillethun
>> Program Director
>> Chicago Filmmakers
>> 5243 N. Clark St.
>> Chicago, IL 60640
>> 773-293-1447
>> <>
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