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HOLLYWOOD — A pair of filmmaker advocacy orgs — the Film Foundation and the Artists Rights Foundation — have merged under the umbrella of the Directors Guild of America.

The new entity, the Film Foundation Inc., will combine the role of raising awareness and funds for film preservation with the work of promoting the rights of filmmakers.

The foundation also plans to use education and outreach campaigns about the importance of preserving and protecting film. Martin Scorsese, chair of the new org, cited the tremendous rise in awareness of preservation and rights issue within the industry and the public in general in the decade since the Film Foundation and the Artists Rights Foundation were created.

Preservation campaign booster

“With this consolidation, and the support of the DGA, we’re increasing our resources and strengthening our ability to protect and preserve film art,” Scorsese said. “After all, the first right of any artist is to have his or her work survive.”

In addition to Scorsese, the board of directors includes Woody Allen, Robert Altman, Francis Ford Coppola, Clint Eastwood, George Lucas, Sydney Pollack, Robert Redford and Steven Spielberg. DGA prexy Martha Coolidge and secretary-treasurer Gil Cates will serve in the same capacities for the Film Foundation Inc.

“The Directors Guild of America has always been an ardent supporter of both organizations,” Coolidge said. “We are pleased to join Marty and the Film Foundation in actively pursuing ways to promote the protection and preservation of film.

Coolidge also noted that the new org will include an artists rights education and legal defense fund council as an advisory committee. Elliot Silverstein will serve as chair, and governors of the panel will include Tom Cruise, Milos Forman, John Frankenheimer, Taylor Hackford, Dustin Hoffman, Anjelica Huston, Bruce Ramer and Ken Ziffren.

“With the joining of these organizations, the opportunity is greater in spreading the message of the importance to protect an artist’s vision and preserve motion picture history,” Silverstein said.

The Film Foundation was founded in 1990 by Scorsese with Allen, Coppola, the late Stanley Kubrick, Lucas, Pollack, Redford and Spielberg. The DGA founded the Artists Rights Foundation in 1991.

Archival assistance

The new foundation will continue financial support for preservation at five archives — the Academy Film Archive, the George Eastman House, the Library of Congress, the New York Museum of Modern Art, and the UCLA Film and Television Archives. It also will supply funds for the National Center for Film and Video Preservation at the American Film Institute and the National Film Preservation Foundation.

Robert Rosen, dean of the UCLA archives, will continue to head the Archivists Advisory Council.

“The directors on the board have been in the vanguard of advocacy for film protection and preservation,” Rosen said. “The fact that they are now joined by the DGA — representing the broader community of film directors — is proof of the success we’ve had in making the industry aware of the importance of this issue and how essential it is to the filmmaking process.”

Founding exec Raffaele Donato will remain in her post at the foundation with Margaret Bodde and Kathy Garmezy serving as co-exec directors.