Let’s Hit The Ground Running!

[This board member blog is by Joe Gruberman, representing the interests of independent filmmakers on the Arizona Film & Media Coalition (AFMC). Any viewpoints expressed in this blog are expressed by the blogger as an individual and may or may not be the viewpoints of the AFMC Board as a whole.]

My summarized notes on the most recent board meeting

Our most recent AFMC Board of Directors meeting was on Thursday, November 19th. This was my first day back on the board after an approximately 18-month absence, for reasons that I'll clarify shortly. We had a sufficient number of members in attendance for a quorum and were able to discuss, vote on and implement strategies that will enable us to approach the coming year with some fresh perspective on our overarching concern of how to revitalize the film and media industry of Arizona. Our discussion touched on the subjects of legislative session schedule, current political climate and its positive and negative implications, recent letters to the governor, efficacy of potential strategies going forward, "low-hanging fruit", and fundraising.

As I had been out of the mix for over a year, I took it upon myself to be vocal on several subjects that were discussed, including our strategy regarding new and existing legislation affecting our industry and the need for greater social media presence. I could go into details here, but I feel that the purpose of a personal blog is not to recount the meeting minutes, but to express the thoughts of the individual board member as a communication vehicle to his or her represented community. (In fact, the very creation of this blog is my attempt to encourage other board members to do the same.)

Why I left and then rejoined the AFMC Board

The AFMC Board of Directors is composed of individuals representing many different entities across the film, multimedia and broadcast communities. One of those entities was IFP/Phoenix, which is a sister organization of the Phoenix Film Festival. Both are under the parent organization Phoenix Film Foundation. Both of these entities held seats on the AFMC until about July 2014. At that time, the Phoenix Film Foundation's Board of Directors deemed it in the best interests of the foundation to drop off of the AFMC Board based on potential conflicts between the AFMC legislative activities and the Phoenix Film Foundation's 501c3 standings. The details of this decision are beyond the scope of this blog. Suffice to say that, as the representative of IFP/Phoenix, I could no longer participate.

Subsequent to that decision, I was invited back onto the Board in an individual capacity, but I declined that request because (a) there really was no allowance for an individual, not representing any particular group to be on the Board, and (b) I did not feel that, other than the members of IFP/Phoenix, I had any sort of constituency that I could or should be representing. However, after much cajoling by some dear friends on the Board, and after leaving ample time for someone else to step up in my place, it seemed to me that, as a filmmaker, an educator, and an experienced corporate director, I might make a case for myself (-- actually, to myself --) that the independent film community at large might accept me as their representative, if I were to make an honest effort to engage the members of that community in the conversation. On that basis, I decided to re-join, and so that's where we stand today. In the coming weeks, I will be formulating a plan to (a) communicate on an ongoing basis with as many individuals and groups of the independent film community as I can, and (b) open a channel of communication back to me if anyone needs to initiate a conversation. For now, I'm best reached at joe@jgrub.com.

That's all for now! Please show your support by liking the AFMC Facebook page. While you're there, feel free to post some constructive comments that might help give me direction in the coming months.


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