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Saved! LACMA's Film Series will Continue with New Funding

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Photo by Lydia Marcus (fotonomous) via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr

Photo by Lydia Marcus (fotonomous) via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
To the shock of the film community last month, LACMA announced that come October, the beloved weekend film series would discontinue due to budget constraints. That prompted some advocacy and strong words from many, including director Martin Scorsese. "It comes as no surprise to me that the public is rallying," he wrote in an open letter printed in the LA Times. "People from all over the world are speaking out, because they see this action - correctly, I think - as a serious rebuke to film within the context of the art world."All the attention given to potential loss eventually saved the series. "We’ve been incredibly impressed by the public outcry of support for film at LACMA, and thrilled that just a few weeks later, the first new sponsors have stepped forward," said LACMA Director Michael Govan in a statement.

Thanks to $75,000 donations each from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Time Warner Cable, in partnership with Ovation TV, the series will continue through the next summer. Additionally, Time Warner Cable and Ovation TV have donated in-kind $1.5 million worth of marketing.

LACMA also hopes the funding will help launch a larger effort to engage the film and media community in supporting film and art at the museum. One point LACMA made was that many of those who complained over the loss were those who had never supported the museum.

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Moreover, the museum is looking into creating a Film Department within the curatorial sphere of the museum that will be charged with critical thinking about the history and future of film as art as well as film's increasing importance in the larger narrative of art history. “As the largest art museum in Los Angeles, LACMA should be at the forefront of the consideration and presentation of how film has played an ever-increasing role in contemporary art and life,” said Govan.