The federation’s film insurance scheme is now in place. This is an extraordinary benefit to members who would otherwise have to pay enormous premiums, or stop screening film altogether. It is very simple and works as follows:
1. Eligibility: If you screen film, your membership of the Federation will entitle you to cover for any claim for film damage or loss incurred while a film you have booked or screened is in your custody or in transit.
2. We will pay: The federation will pay costs:
- to a maximum of $5,000 for 35mm
- to a maximum of $2,500 for 16mm
- to a maximum of $5000 for DVD, Bluray, E-Cinema, 2K, 4K and DCP
3. subject to the following conditions:
(a) When joining the federation or renewing its membership, a society will be required to warrant that it will observe ‘best practice’ concerning maintenance of its projection equipment and the handling of film. In this instance, ‘best practice’ for 16mm means (a) applying relevant sections of the 16mm Projectionist’s Manual, and (b) seeking expert advice from technicians, accredited projectionists and others who have worked with film for many years. If you screen 35mm, you are likely to already have a maintenance program in place with a specialist technician. If not, the principles in the manual apply equally to 35mm film and equipment.
(b) Each claim will be subject to a $100 excess that will be deducted from the claim payment.
Perhaps the best thing to come out of this exercise was that it made us reflect on how film screeners can best protect themselves against anything happening to film. We concluded that the 16mm Projectionist’s Manual is probably the most comprehensive reference readily available to film societies. It was given a big tick by the experts at the National Film and Sound Archive when it was first published, and the latest edition has again passed their scrutiny with flying colours.