Steering Group.

As agreed at the RFN conference in Dublin in 2018, the network now has a Steering Group comprised of twenty-four people with various roles (see below). The group is designed to help share decision-making responsibility across the network and to enhance its effectiveness and reach around the globe, without introducing too much hierarchy or centralisation. Like everything else in the RFN, this is something of an experiment and can be amended or dispensed with as members see fit.

If you would like to be on the group or have any comments or suggestions about it, please get in touch with Steve Presence at info@radicalfilmnetwork.com.

The people

The Steering Group members are a mixture of those who either volunteered from the various calls put out on the mailing list or were invited to be on the group because of their expertise and involvement with the RFN so far.

  1. Steve Presence: convenor; UK coordinator/advisor
  2. Laura Ager: exhibition coordinator/advisor
  3. Elizabeth Mizon communications coordinator
  4. Shaun Dey: advisor
  5. Chris Jury: advisor
  6. Rod Stoneman: advisor
  7. Reuben Irving: advisor
  8. Sean Lovell: Doc/Fest liaison
  9. Clive Myer: Distribution/RFN Vimeo coordinator
  10. Patcee Francis: film education/marginalised voices coordinator
  11. Ben Cook: artist film and video coordinator (UK)
  12. Mike Dunford: artists film and video coordinator (UK)
  13. Ernie Larsen: artist film and video coordinator (US)
  14. Victor Ribeiro: Brazil coordinator
  15. Julia Lazarus: Germany coordinator
  16. Binayak Bhattacharya: India coordinator
  17. Paula Geraghty: Ireland coordinator
  18. Elena Boschi: Italy coordinator/subtitling group/advisor
  19. David Archibald: RFN Scotland
  20. Fran Higson: RFN Scotland/advisor
  21. King Catoy, South East Asia coordinator
  22. Soliña Barreiro: Spain coordinator
  23. Talat Bhat: Sweden coordinator
  24. Chris Robé: USA coordinator

The roles and what they mean

Convenor

This is the person with overall oversight of the network and responsibility for ensuring everything is ticking over okay. This person is often the first point of contact for folks within/outside the network. They moderate the mailing list, look after the website (including Directory of affiliated groups), liaise with annual RFN conference organisers and do all the general administrative stuff that’s no one else’s responsibility.

Country coordinator

A person who is the point-of-contact for RFN-related stuff in that country/region. This person connects radical film groups in their area with the network (i.e. gets them on the RFN mailing list and social media and makes sure the group has a page in the Directory), and feeds stuff coming out of the RFN to other networks in their area.

Communications coordinator

This person ensures all relevant content that’s posted to the RFN mailing list (the primary way folks in the RFN share info) is transferred over the RFN Facebook Page and Twitter feed. Other jobs here could include making sure all groups in the Directory are on the mailing list (there’s a lot of gaps here atm despite the 700+ people already on the list) or ensuring as
many groups as possible mention the RFN on their own sites and link back to the network.

Exhibition coordinator

Film festivals and exhibitors constitute just over half of all groups in the network, so it seems sensible to have a person who can act as a coordinator for these groups. Lots of potential here – exhibitors sub-group, maybe? – but also lots of churn as groups start up and struggle to sustain themselves.

Distribution/RFN Vimeo channel

The RFN Vimeo channel was set-up in 2016 as a platform to help promote and share work produced by filmmakers in the RFN. Clive Myer has since taken responsibility for this and has really built it up over the past year, and is interested in developing the distribution capacity/activity of the network.

Film education/marginalised voices

This role is yet to be defined but was suggested by members of the steering group in response to the significant number of film educators in the RFN.

Artists film and video (UK and US)

As with country coordinators, but with a focus on experimental filmmaking by progressive/leftist filmmakers/groups. The ‘radical’ in the RFN was always meant to be about form as much as content, and to foster a closer relationship between the experimental and activist film communities, but so far the former has always been much less well represented within the RFN. Because the RFN is most established in the UK and US, it seems sensible to have people in each area that are well-connected in the experimental film communities to develop this part of the network.

Subtitling group

This is a small group of multilingual RFN members that was initiated as a way to support the international circulation of particular films.

Doc/Fest liaison

This person liaises with Sheffield Doc/Fest when they provide the RFN with a limited number of discounted passes each year – something which requires a fair amount of administration/communication with RFN members and Doc/Fest. They also make sure relevant announcements from Doc/Fest throughout the year get fed through to the mailing list. Doc/Fest
appointed a much more radical director in 2019 so there’s a lot of potential to develop this relationship.

Advisors

This is a smaller group of people within the Steering Group with which the convenor can communicate on a more regular basis about any issues that don’t necessitate contacting the all folks on the steering group. This is designed to a) make sure the convenor doesn’t have sole responsibility for decisions that should be shared; b) spare unnecessary email traffic for the wider group; and c) speed-up decision-making (i.e the group won’t have to wait for 20+ responses/opinions each time the group has to deal with something).

Strategy/management/decision-making

In practice, decisions about larger issues – the longer-term aims of the network, needs of radical film/media culture etc. – are discussed as and when they arise on the mailing list or at the annual conferences. However, this probably isn’t clear to new members of folks less familiar with the network. So, once or twice a year the Steering Group will convene a meeting that is open to all members of to discuss these bigger issues. Kind of like an AGM…