The Los Angeles County Museum of Art‘s film program is back in the news again, following a few years of quiet after the uproar over its existence two years back. You might recall that, facing few attendees to its screenings and shrinking endowments forcing museums across the country to cut back, the LACMA announced in the summer of 2009 that it would be trimming back their film program substantially. This led to lots of uproar from the community and the likes of Martin Scorsese and Kenneth Turan, followed by lots of donations that wound up saving it (a year later, it was reported that the program was in possible trouble again, but that didn’t seem to catch nearly the same level of heat). Now some better news, with the announcement that the LACMA has partnered with Film Independent (pdf), the non-profit organization behind the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival. The partnership has gone into effect immediately, but overt evidence of the relationship won’t start to appear until late this summer. Here are some of the details from the official announcement:
LACMA and Film Independent will inaugurate the new weekly Film Series in September 2011 with previews of feature-length narrative and documentary films; archival films and repertory series; conversations with emerging and established filmmakers and artists; international showcases; family films; and special guest-curated programs. In addition, monthly postscreening receptions will bring together the Los Angeles creative community by offering a gathering place for film lovers, artists and the general public. The current LACMA film program, as well as Film Independent’s year-round Film Series will continue through mid-September. Additionally, LACMA will continue its Tuesday matinee series and film programs presented in conjunction with special exhibitions.
Along the way, the new pair also picked up the NY Times as their sole presenting sponsor for the program. Says the release, “this collaboration will serve to establish a larger cultural presence in Los Angeles for The New York Times.” And right here is where we’d make a “no one reads in LA” joke, but we’re not going to because we’re better than that.