Light Cone letter (2007)

To you,
It is difficult to imagine that an organization as venerable and well established as Light Cone should require letters of support, don’t its many successes speak for itself? It is part of a living history, an injunction to remember, and only enemies of memory could be aligned against it. It represents the hope of a minor literature in cinema, a cinema of texts aligned with an audience of creators, who are busy working in the dark, refusing the infantilism of paternal cinemas, of imperial cinemas and declarative cinemas, and instead creating a place where difference can be restored and respected, where the necessary and proper distance, the hors d’oeuvre for understandings or intimacy, can be found. This collection of dreams is not born in an instant, but over years of careful tending. It is more necessary now than ever that these dreams could have a place to live and grow. Light Cone is the place where roots take root, unthinkable to proceed without this tradition of the untraditional. It is absolutely essential that this organization be allowed to do its work, to project its difference, to show the road not taken, for all of us.

mike hoolboom
toronto, canada 2007

February 26, 2007
To Light Cone filmmakers and rights holders
We would like to inform you of the decisions taken at the special general meeting held on the 3rd of February 2007. Given Light Cone’s present grave financial difficulties, the filmmakers and rights holders present, echoing the many letters received since last December, confirmed their agreement to lower their share of film rentals to 50%. This measure therefore takes effect from 1st of January 2007.

Also, following the resignation of three members of the board of directors (Yann Beauvais, president, Jean-Damien Collin, secretary and Vivian Ostrovski, treasurer) and Marc Bembekoff, member of the Administrative Committee, the General Meeting elected Claire Renier, programmer, and Patrick Bokanowski, filmmaker, to the Administrative Committee, where they join Cécile Dazord, Emmanuel Lefrant, Miles McKane, Gisèle Rapp-Meichler and Nicolas Rey.

The new Administrative Committee immediately elected a new Board of Directors composed by Miles McKane, president, Gisèle Rapp-Meichler, secretary, and Emmanuel Lefrant, treasurer. This Administrative Committee also decided:

– to terminate the employment of two of Light Cone’s employees: Claire Gausse (in charge of rentals) and Sophie Laurent (administrator), given the financial forecast for the next two years and the downscaling this implicates.

– to move out of Light Cone’s present premises as soon as possible (at the latest by January 2008), into cheaper premises in Paris or the Paris suburbs. All means of finding these new premises, ideally provided by a municipality or one of Light Cone’s partners, are currently being explored. Given the dire situation Light Cone now finds itself in, part of its activity must now be carried out voluntarily and will demand still more commitment from the team still in place. However, these decisions will enable Light Cone to balance its books by the end of 2008 and then continue on a more normal footing.

2007 will be a crucial year for Light Cone’s survival and will demand even more effort on your part. Faced with the choice of either closing or carrying on, the immense majority of those present voted to pursue our activities. This will only be possible with your energy and the active support of filmmakers and those who programme our films.

This is why we are appealing to you to:

* sign and get others to sign an international petition (see attached document petitionLC_en.pdf), in your name or in the name of an organisation (e.g. Cooperative or cultural institution). You can do this on the Light Cone website or by mail to Light Cone, 12, rue des Vignoles, 75020 Paris, France.

* write us a letter of support, to be sent by email to or by mail, insisting on the importance of Light Cone in your artistic work. These letters will be compiled to justify our appeals to institutions susceptible to help Light Cone in its survival (see guidelines attached in document LetterSupport.pdf).

* give a little of your time to help Light Cone, especially if you are in Paris. To contact us the following address has been created:

* donate all or a part of your royalties due to the present date and/or for the year of 2007 to support Light Cone. The general assembly proposed this measure, given the fragile nature of Light Cone’s situation, and if a large number of members participate, we should redress the situation for 2007. By contacting the following address you can see the amount in your royalty account, and by following the instruction make a donation. It is also possible to make a donation by cheque or by e-mail. For those who cannot or who do not wish to make a donation we request that you wait until the end of 2007 for your annual royalty payment.

We are aware the effort that we ask of you to make on behalf of Light Cone, and that these measure contradict the principles, which Light Cone have always upheld. We fully intend to get through this crisis, so that Light Cone has a basis to evolve and establish an equity between running costs and its real financial potential and will work to ensure that this crisis allows Light Cone to evolve in its working to provide an efficient and pertiant service adapted to the needs of today’s programmers and public.

Thank you for your continued support and confidence in Light Cone and do not hesitate to contact us at the following address:

Kind regards,

The Administrative Committee
Patrick Bokanowski, filmmaker
Cécile Dazord, patrimonial conservator
Emmanuel Lefrant, filmmaker
Miles McKane, filmmaker, programmer, co-fonder of Light Cone
Gisèle Rapp-Meichler, filmmaker
Claire Renier, programmer
Nicolas Rey, filmmaker, programmer

Light Cone
12, rue des vignoles 75020 Paris
Tel: +33 (0) 1 46 59 01 53 Fax : + 33 (0) 1 46 59 03 12