Film Society

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Previous/other names: UNB Film Society; Children's Film Society (sponsored by UNB Film Society - 1971).

Prominent date(s) of activity: 1948 - 1992

History: The UNB Film Society was established to "stimulate an interest in and appreciation for the film as a form of art, by presenting a cross section of the finest films available, both vintage and modern, from all countries with major motion picture industries."

Activities: The society made a special effort to bring in films that had not yet been viewed in Fredericton, and in 1971 the UNB Film Society sponsored a pilot version of the Children's Film Society, which gave children an equally worldly viewing experience. The Children's Film Society was successful, and continued for a number of years.

Note(s): The UNB Film Society was an affiliate of the Canadian Federation of Film Societies, a division of the Canadian Film Institute, and was also a member of the Fredericton Film Council, through whom it gained access to the films and equipment of the New Brunswick Federation of Film Councils and the Audio-Visual Bureau of the New Brunswick Department of Education.

Until the late 1970's admission to film societies in Canada was limited to season tickets only. Because the UNB Film Society offered season tickets at one of the lowest rates in the country, membership applications often exceeded the number of seats available in the presentation auditorium, and priority was given to faculty and students of UNB, and thereafter faculty and students at other schools, UNB alumni, and persons above the age of 60. Prior to 1959, viewings were held in Memorial Hall, which had a seating capacity of 200, but that year viewings were moved to the Chemistry Auditorium, which could hold 300, to accommodate growing membership numbers. In 1965, to accommodate increasing membership requests, three viewings were scheduled for each Sunday, with memberships co-ordinated to a particular viewing hour. By 1969 the viewings, still three per Sunday, were held in the Head Hall Auditorium, and previous members were encouraged to purchase memberships before they sold out. In 1970, because longer films were being shown, an 8:00 pm viewing moved to Saturday. Viewing time and locations continued to shift to accommodate the growing popularity of the Society, with new venues located at the Playhouse, Tilley Hall Auditorium, and St. Thomas Auditorium.

In 1983 the Film Society donated proceeds from their screening of "A Streetcar Named Desire" to a CUSO project, which explored and improved the working lives of women in third-world countries.

Source(s):

  • UA Case 173.
  • The Brunswickan, vol. 68, no. 6, 5 November 1948, p. 4.
  • Up the Hill, 1950, p. 150.
  • Pamphlet, UNB Film Society '58-'59.
  • Scrapbook, 1953-1954, pages unnumbered.


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