The RFN consists of its members, and to that extent its structure and organisation depends on those involved. However, the RFN has been designed to operate both irrespective of the vicissitudes of funding and in support a range of funded Projects run in association with it, and this has in turn shaped its structure and organisation.
First, there is no official membership status or application process; membership is simply a matter of being involved with or affiliated to the RFN. Second, the apparatus of the network is intentionally light-weight, consisting primarily of a Directory of affiliated organisations and a Mailing List which enable those organisations and other groups and individuals to communicate (as do the RFN’s Facebook and Twitter accounts). Third, the RFN operates on a decentralised basis: affiliated organisations remain entirely independent and autonomous, and affiliation is voluntary.
This stripped back, light-weight design helps minimise the labour required to administrate the RFN and thus helps prevent it from developing into an entity that requires significant time and attention to maintain. In turn, the network can remain focused on helping to support its affiliated organisations and the culture they represent.
The RFN exists independently of core funding, but has so far benefited from two sources of support: a researcher was supported by the University of the West of England in Bristol to build the network, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council in the UK agreed to fund four networking events in the UK and US to support its development between 2015 and 2017. See ‘Sustaining Alternative Film Cultures’ (2015-17).